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IntroductionStudies indicate substandard diagnostic care, delayed and missed diagnosis as some of the contributing factors to maternal mortality. The clinical impact of point-of-care (POC) diagnostics has been shown in the monitoring and treatment of a variety of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. The objective of this systematic review is to investigate the impact of POC diagnostics on maternal outcomes for HIV-infected women.MethodsWe will conduct a systematic review to evaluate the impact of POC diagnostics for improving desired healthcare outcomes for HIV-infected women. The search strategy will involve electronic databases including: Cochrane Infectious Disease Group Specialised Register; Cochrane Central Register of Control Trials, published in The Cochrane Library; PubMed; EBSCOhost and LILACS. The studies will be mapped in 2 stages: stage 1 will map studies descriptively by focus and method; stage 2 will involve additional inclusion criteria, quality assessment and data extraction undertaken by 2 reviewers in parallel. Evidence will be synthesised using relevant systematic research tools: meta-analysis and subgroup analysis will be conducted using RevMan and Stata 13 will be used for meta-regressions. We will follow recommendations described in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement and the Cochrane Handbook for Intervention Reviews.Ethics and disseminationWe anticipate finding a large number of studies on POC diagnostic interventions on maternal outcomes in HIV-infected women, which, once summarised, will be useful to guide future diagnostic interventions. The protocol for the systematic review has been registered in PROSPERO. The study will be disseminated electronically and in print. It will also be presented to conferences related to HIV/AIDS, POC diagnostics and maternal health.Trial registration numberPROSPERO CRD42014015439.

Original publication





BMJ open

Publication Date





Discipline of Public Health, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa.


Humans, HIV Infections, Pregnancy Complications, Prenatal Care, Maternal Mortality, Pregnancy, Research Design, Point-of-Care Systems, Female, Systematic Reviews as Topic