Educational Initiatives and Implementation of Electroencephalography into the Acute Care Environment: a protocol of a Systematic Review
Taran S., Ahmed W., Bui E., Prisco L., Hahn C., McCredie VA.
Abstract Background: Use of electroencephalography (EEG) is currently recommended by the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society for a wide range of indications, including diagnosis of nonconvulsive status epilepticus and evaluation of unexplained disorders of consciousness. Data interpretation usually occurs by expert personnel (e.g. epileptologists, neurophysiologists), with information relayed to the primary care team. However, data cannot always be read in time-sensitive fashion, leading to potential delays in EEG interpretation and patient management. Multiple training programs have recently been described to enable non-experts to rapidly interpret EEG at the bedside. A comprehensive review of these training programs, including the tools used, outcomes obtained, and potential pitfalls, is currently lacking. Therefore, the optimum training program and implementation strategy remain unknown. Methods: We will conduct a systematic review of descriptive studies, case series, cohort studies and randomized controlled trials assessing training programs for EEG interpretation by non-experts. Our primary objective is to comprehensively review educational programs in this domain and report their structure, patterns of implementation, limitations, and trainee feedback. Our secondary objective will be to compare the performance of non-experts for EEG interpretation with a gold standard (e.g. interpretation by a certified electroencephalographers). Studies will be limited to those performed in acute care settings in both adult and paediatric populations (intensive care unit, emergency department, or post-anesthesia care units). Comprehensive search strategies will be developed for MEDLINE, EMBASE, WoS, CINAHL, and CENTRAL to identify studies for review. The gray literature will be scanned for further eligible studies. Two reviewers will independently screen the search results to identify studies for inclusion. A standardized data extraction form will be used to collect important data from each study. If possible, we will attempt to meta-analyse the quantitative data. If heterogeneity between studies is too high, we will present meaningful quantitative comparisons of secondary outcomes as per the synthesis without meta-analysis (SWiM) reporting guidelines. Discussion: We will aim to summarize the current literature in this domain to understand the structure, patterns, and pitfalls of EEG training programs for non-experts. This review is undertaken with a view to inform future education designs, potentially enabling rapid detection of EEG abnormalities and timely intervention by the treating physician. PROSPERO registration: Submitted and undergoing review (URL currently unavailable).