This scoping review aims to identify complex health interventions (CHI’s) to prevent early
childhood caries (ECC), explore the level of complexity of the identified CHI’s, and explore
the details of their development, evaluation, and implementation.
Many interventions to prevent ECC have multiple interacting components and can be seen
as CHI’s. Recent reviews on these interventions have found inconclusive effects, which
may be due to differences in the development, evaluation, and implementation of CHI’s.
This scoping review will consider clinical trials reporting CHI’s to prevent ECC that starts during
pregnancy or in the first year of life. Studies in the English language will be included
regardless of the country of origin, sociocultural setting, or context.
This review will follow the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology for scoping reviews. An initial
search of PubMed identified keywords and Medical Subject Headings terms. A second
search of PubMed, Embase, Clarivate Analytics/Web of Science Core Collection,
ClinicalTrials.gov, and the Wiley/Cochrane Library will follow. Two independent reviewers will
perform title and abstract screening, retrieve and review full-text studies, and extract data. The
reference lists of all included sources will be screened for additional CHI’s or relevant publications
about a specific CHI. Data charting will be utilised based on study characteristics and
intervention complexity. A 39-item instrument will be used to explore the details in the description
of the CHI’s development, evaluation, and implementation. The results will be presented in
tables, visual outputs, and a narrative summary in response to the review questions.
The proposed review will generate evidence which may provide a direction for the future
design of studies on CHI’s to prevent ECC and more complete information for those who
want to adopt successful interventions to prevent ECC.