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A review of research efforts to address the 2008 ACEP guideline for mild traumatic brain injury

      Abstract

      Background

      The objective of this study was to evaluate the temporal relationship between clinical practice guideline development and subsequent research performed, with the goal of providing more data on areas of sparse evidence that serve to underlie guideline recommendations. We aimed to assess the quality of current research efforts to address the American College of Emergency Physicians guideline and to provide suggestions for future research of mild traumatic brain injury.

      Methods

      We identified clinical practice guideline recommendations with low levels of underlying evidence and searched ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization's International Clinical Trial Registry Portal to determine whether subsequent research has reflected an effort to address guideline recommendations.

      Results

      Few currently registered clinical trials attempt to focus on clinical practice guideline recommendations where the basis of evidence is weak, and even fewer might benefit future iterations of the guideline due to multiple problems in study design and reporting.

      Conclusions

      The amount of research dedicated to investigation of mild traumatic brain injury continues to be sparse and of poor quality. Study results should always be posted, even if the null hypothesis is confirmed. Efforts to improve the evidence base of a guideline should be realized by designing studies that directly assess and speak to the questions posed by guideline authors.

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