Post-operative Trachomatous Trichiasis in Africa: a systematic review and online survey

Master Thesis


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Background High incidence of post-operative trichiasis and other poor outcomes after surgery in most trachoma-endemic settings poses a major challenge to global elimination of trachoma. This systematic review aimed to assess the incidence of post-operative trichiasis and other poor outcomes of trichiasis surgery in Africa, based on findings of observational and interventional studies. Search methods We searched PubMed, Academic Search Premier, Africa-Wide Information, CINAHL and Health Source Nursing through EBSCOhost, Web of Science [all databases], and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for relevant studies on the subject. We also searched the reference lists of included studies to identify further potentially relevant studies. We included all observational and interventional studies that measured post-operative trichiasis as one of the primary outcomes. Only studies conducted in Africa were included in this review. Data collection and analysis Two reviewers independently screened the titles and abstracts, selected and assessed the articles for inclusion in this review. Any disagreements were resolved through discussion or by consulting a third reviewer. Where necessary, the corresponding authors of included studies were contacted to provide any missing data. Our primary outcome was post-operative trichiasis, which was defined as any eyelash touching the globe at different time points after surgery. Main results Thirty-five studies, including 12,943 participants, met the inclusion criteria. A number of the studies included in this review utilized the same data to measure the incidence of post-operative trichiasis and other poor outcomes over different follow-up periods. Overall, a review of the included studies revealed a pattern of high incidence of post-operative trichiasis and other poor outcomes ranging from 2.3 at 6 weeks to 65% at 7 years. This incidence varied by type of study design, surgical procedure and technique used as well as the follow up period among other factors.