Table Table11 presents our detailed inclusion criteria, which follow a generally accepted framework to formulate systematic review questions comprising 6 key components: populations, interventions, comparator interventions, outcomes, timings, and settings listed under the patient, and intervention, comparator, outcome, timing, and setting (i.e., the so-called PICOTS) framework.[31,32] We will include any prospective or retrospective cohort or cross-sectional studies with a single-gate design[33] that included ≥30 patients of all ages with blunt trauma and assessed the outcomes relevant to KQs 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7. Regarding KQs 3 and 4, both RCTs and non-randomized studies of interventions (NRSIs)—cohort studies, case-control studies, controlled before-and-after studies, interrupted-time-series studies, and “quasi-” randomized studies—of any size that assessed the comparative effectiveness of WBCT in comparison with conventional management involving selective CT, will be eligible. We will exclude conference abstracts, primary studies with the outcome data unextractable from the publication, and studies based on mathematical modeling approaches, such as decision model or cost-effectiveness studies. To deal with across-study variations and insufficient reporting in the inclusion criteria of trauma patients (e.g., mixed populations not limited to patients with blunt trauma but jointly assessing patients with blunt trauma and those with penetrating injury or gun-shot injury), we will exclude studies that explicitly included >5% of patients with trauma other than blunt trauma, or studies including >10% of patients with unspecified trauma unless subgroup data on patients with blunt trauma exclusively are extractable.

Inclusion criteria and clinical outcomes of interest based on the PICOTS framework.

ACS = American College of Surgeons, CT = computed tomography, ED = emergency department, FAST = focused assessment with sonography in trauma, KQ = key question, NRSI = non-randomized studies of intervention, PICOTS = population, intervention, comparator, outcome, timing, and setting, RCT = randomized controlled trial.

Two independent reviewers will double-screen abstracts using Abstrackr, a web-based software for citation screening (Center for Evidence Synthesis in Health, Brown University, Province, USA). We will then peruse all potentially eligible full-text articles that ≥1 reviewers screen in for eligibility. All non-English publications will be translated into English before full-text assessment. Any discrepant results will be resolved by consensus. We will employ adjudication by a third reviewer in case of unresolved discrepancies.

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