BACKGROUND: Neck Pain (NP) has been ranked as one of the top chronic pain conditions in terms of prevalence and years lived with disability in the latest Global Burden of Disease. NP has remarkable socio-economic consequences however, research efforts are limited. Discrepancies among guidelines recommendations on management of chronic neck pain exist. The purpose of this study protocol is to provide the methods for a review with network meta-analysis to identify the most effective interventions for chronic neck pain.
METHODS: The following databases will be searched from their inception to February 2019: Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CENTRAL), PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, ISI Web of Science and PEDro.Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on pharmacological and not pharmacological interventions will be included and their risk of bias will be evaluated using the Cochrane Risk of bias tool. Primary outcomes will be reduction in pain and disability. A network meta-analysis will be carried out and pairwise meta-analysis will be conducted using Stata 15 software. Grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) will be applied to assess quality of the body of the evidence.
RESULTS: The results of this review will be submitted to a peer-review journal for publication.
CONCLUSION: This network meta-analysis will provide a comprehensive review on the most effective treatments for the management of chronic neck pain providing key evidence-based information to patients, clinicians and other relevant stakeholders. Registration: PROSPERO (registration number CRD42019124501).