Table 1

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

Type of articleAll peer-reviewed research articles
Non-research reports from national or international health organisations, dissertations/theses, books/book chapters, conference abstracts and research in progress from the grey literature
Unstructured reviews or overviews, theoretical papers, commentaries or opinion papers,
Case studies, audits, editorials/letters/comments, newspapers/trade journals, literature reviews
Guidelines, strategies and policies from national or international health organisations
Type of conditionsAny surgical and anaesthesia care (operative or non-operative); type of presentation
(elective or emergency); sub-speciality surgical or anaesthesia care (including perioperative medicine and pain management)
Trauma/injury care
Studies on cosmetic and aesthetic surgical care and sports medicine
Type of populationGeneral population
Population with specific surgical diseases or conditions
Adults, neonatal and children’s surgery
Care settingHospital setting and SSACsStudies that are not conducted in hospital-based settings
Studies that took place outside of SSA
Type of designInterventional studies*Observational studies
Subject of studyQuality improvement of surgical care through the following areas:
  • Service delivery

  • Health Workforce

  • Information

  • Financing

  • Leadership/governance

  • Studies that did not assess outcomes

  • Medical device production and new clinical technological devices

  • Introduction of new procedures

  • Medical products, vaccines and technologies

  • *Interventional studies are often prospective and are specifically tailored to evaluate direct impacts of treatment or preventive measures on disease.17

  • SSA, sub-Saharan Africa; SSACs, sub-Saharan African countries.