Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Association between child maltreatment and central sensitivity syndromes: a systematic review protocol
  1. Joht Singh Chandan1,
  2. Tom Thomas1,
  3. Karim Raza2,
  4. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay3,
  5. Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar4,
  6. Julie Taylor5
  1. 1 Institute of Applied Health Research College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Institute of Inflammation and Ageing College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3 Department of Economics, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  4. 4 Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  5. 5 School of Nursing, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Julie Taylor; j.taylor.1{at}


Introduction A growing body of evidence is identifying the link between a history of child maltreatment and a variety of adverse health outcomes ultimately leading to significant social and healthcare burden. Initial work has identified a potential association between child maltreatment and the development of a selection of somatic and visceral central sensitivity syndromes: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, temporomandibular joint disorder, chronic lower back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic pelvic pain, interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, chronic prostatitis, tension-type headache, migraine, myofascial pain syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and restless legs syndrome.

Methods and analysis Primary electronic searches will be performed in the Embase, MEDLINE, PubMed, Scopus, PyscINFO, CINAHL and Cochrane Library databases and a number of Grey Literature sources including child protection and paediatric conference proceedings. Following independent screening of studies by two review authors, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses template will be used to aid extraction. A meta-analysis will be conducted on the included case-control and cohort studies. The Newcastle-Ottawa grading system will be used to assess the quality of included studies. Results will be expressed as pooled ORs for binary data and mean differences for continuous data.

Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval will not be required. The final results of the review and meta-analysis will be submitted for peer-review publication and also disseminated at relevant conference presentations.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42018089258.

  • child protection
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • back pain

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Contributors JSC, TT, JT, SB, KN and KR conceived the idea, planned and designed the study protocol. JSC wrote the first draft and this was corroborated with TT. All authors agreed upon the methods for study selection, extraction and also the final written manuscript of the protocol. JSC will be the guarantor of the review. KN, SB and JT are equal senior authors for this paper.

  • Funding This systematic review was supported by the Sandwell and West Birmingham, ’Sandwell Medication Education Centre Trustee' grant for junior doctors. Open access fees will be provided by the University of Birmingham.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval is not required for this study.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.