Protocol for a Scoping Review of the Literature about Use of the PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to Child transmission) Program


  • Joyce Kamanzi
  • Magdalena Richter


Background: The prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program, which was initiated by WHO in 2000, can virtually eliminate Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection among children. However, despite the efforts and emphasis on the PMTCT program, mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV continues to be high, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Our aim is to conduct a scoping review to examine the literature on use of the PMTCT program in SSA.


 Methods and Analysis: A scoping review framework, proposed by Arksey and O’Malley (2005), will guide the study. A comprehensive literature search will be performed using the following databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science Core Collection, Global Health, and Dissertations & Theses Global. The primary research articles published in peer-reviewed journals and grey literature addressing our research question will be included. Two independent reviewers will conduct title, abstract, and full text screening. Data analysis will include a thematic content analysis. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tool will be used to assess papers prior to the synthesis (Public Health Resource Unit, 2006).


 Summary: Our findings will be useful to PMTCT implementers, policy makers, and researchers working in the HIV/PMTCT program. The findings will contribute to strengthening the PMTCT program in SSA by identifying knowledge gaps and providing direction for further research. The intention of this scoping review is to build and contribute to a body of literature on the use of the PMTCT Program.