#PHTwitJC 16: Paper Summary and Discussion Points

This week’s PHTwitJC we will be discussing the following paper:

The health and socioeconomic impacts of major  multi-sport events: systematic review (1978-2008) (2010) Gerry McCartney, Sian Thomas, Hilary Thomson, John Scott, Val Hamilton, Phil Hanlon, David S Morrison and Lyndal Bond

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: 10.1136/bmj.c2369 (Published 20 May 2010)

Paper Summary

Objective To assess the effects of major multi-sport events on health and socioeconomic determinants of health in the population of the city hosting the event.

Design Systematic review.

Data sources This paper searched a variety of published sources without language restrictions for papers published between 1978 and 2008.

Review methods Studies of any design that assessed the health and socioeconomic impacts of major multi-sport events on the host population were included.  Studies were selected and critically appraised by two independent reviewers.

Results Fifty four studies were included. Study quality was assessed as poor, with 69% of studies using a repeat cross-sectional design and 85% of quantitative studies assessed as being below 2+ on the Health Development Agency appraisal scale, often because of a lack of comparison group. Five studies, each with a high risk of bias, reported health related outcomes, which were suicide, paediatric health service demand, presentations for asthma in children (two studies), and problems related to illicit drug use. Overall, the data did not indicate clear negative or positive health impacts of major multi-sport events on host populations.

Conclusions The authors concluded that the available evidence was not sufficient to confirm or refute expectations about the health or socioeconomic benefits for the host population of previous major multi-sport events.

What is a Systematic Review?

“A systematic review draws together the results of several primary research studies. They are used when there is an important clinical question, but many clinical trials, perhaps with conflicting results. A systematic review seeks to provide an overview of the findings of the individual trials, highlighting possible answers, as well as any remaining gaps in knowledge.” (Source: Health Knowledge)

Discussion Points for #PHTwitJC Sunday 22nd July @ 8pm

  1. Were the aims of this study clear? (consider the population, outcome measures, intervention)
  2. Was the systematic review comprehensive? (consider research designs included, inclusion and exclusion criteria, would all relevant studies have been identified?)
  3. Were any adjustments made for study size or quality? (if appropriate)
  4. Do you believe the results? Could anything else explain these findings? (Consider whether the results are due to chance, bias, confounding or the truth?)
  5. What implications do the findings have for public health practice & policy?
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