Protocol and Registration
This rapid evidence assessment is informed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2017) and UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) (2015) publications that outline best practice for the development or Rapid Evidence Assessments. This protocol has been submitted to the International Prospective Register for Systematic Reviews - PROSPERO. Currently there is no standardised reporting process for rapid reviews that are carried out. Consequently, this protocol has adapted the PRISMA-P and associated checklist (Additional File 2) as a framework to report on the findings of the review.
Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria
The research team are interested in identifying, synthesising and considering evidence of the impact of initiatives, interventions or programmes that specifically target the reengagement of rural NEETs in three areas: education, employment and training. The research team is primarily interested in the impact of initiatives, interventions or programmes on rural NEETs’ relationship (in sum or in part) with education, employment and training. Studies that are qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods will be included. Studies that do not include imperial data will not be included in this review. Following on from this, in order for publications and reports to be considered eligible for inclusion in this review the following inclusion and exclusion criteria, following on from the formation of the aforementioned research question using the PICO elements are useful: population, intervention, comparison, and outcomes. Therefore, PICO model is applied:
The review will focus on young people aged between 15 and 34 years who live in rural areas and who are not in education, employment and training at the time of the studies being carried out. Where studies include participants that fall outside of the above age range, if the mean age range of the study falls between 15-34 years the study will be included. Where studies do not focus exclusively on rural NEETs, where the datasets presented by the study are not presented separately and where the authors cannot provide additional information the study will be excluded.
Interventions will be considered if they adhere to the target population parameters. Studies that focus on formal, non-formal, informal, place-based learning, community engagement, outreach activities, media programmes, sports initiatives, enterprise interventions, career pathway programmes and general educational initiatives, interventions and programmes. In addition studies that incorporate combinations of the above will also be included.
While it is unlikely that studies with concurrent control or comparison groups will emerge in the review process, if they are present they will be included. If sub-group analysis is possible this will be explored specific to the impact of initiatives, interventions and programmes on NEETs’ relationships with education, employment and training.
The impact of initiatives, interventions and programmes on NEETs’ relationships with education in terms of re-engagement and/or progression with learning or employment outcomes will be included as will studies that report on the impact of initiatives, interventions and programmes on holistic wellbeing outcomes.
As part of an initial investigation the research team carried out an initial search for extant systematic reviews and meta-analysis. This initial search revealed a dearth of reviews and meta-analysis focusing on initiatives, interventions or programmes targeted at rural NEET reengagement with education, employment and training. This systematic review will employ a standardised search strategy using defined terms within search strings (Additional File 1). Databases deemed most likely to return a high number of relevant results will be searched. It is acknowledged by the research team that additional searches may be warranted. The following databases will be searched: Web of Science, SCOPUS, EBSCOhost, ERIC and ProQuest. Internet searching through Google Scholar will be carried out as well as forward and backward tracking of citations from studies that are included in the review. Hand searches of journals will be carried out if warranted. Where necessary additional follow up contact with authors, experts and research groups will further inform this review. The review will only include peer reviewed studies published in English, however, if a study published in an alternate language is deemed relevant it will be included. Consequently no grey literature will be included in this review. The result of the search will be downloaded and saved to Mendeley. Informed by PRISMA guidelines, duplicates will be removed. The titles and abstracts of all remaining studies will be screened by at least two independent reviewers informed by the study inclusion and exclusion criteria. Where a decision to include or exclude cannot be reached by the two independent reviewers an additional reviewer will adjudicate. All results, screening process results will be documented in tabular form and communicated in a PRISMA flow diagram.
Data Extraction and Quality Appraisal
After the final research returns have been collated two independent reviewers will read all titles and abstracts after duplicates have been removed. The titles and abstracts will be screened in accordance with inclusion and exclusion criteria. Where it is not possible to determine relevance from the title and abstract alone, at this stage the full paper will be accessed to determine whether it should be included. Where there is disagreement between reviewers a third independent reviewer will review the paper and attempts will be made to resolve the disagreement through discussion. If at this point there is still disagreement the paper will be retained for future reference.
The next step in this process will be full paper screening. Where a paper is deemed not to meet the review inclusion criteria it will be rejected following the dual appraisal method as described above. Papers that meet the inclusion criteria will have the following data extracted and highlighted in table format with brief descriptions where appropriate:
- Year of publication will be listed. This will be a time limited study of 10 years.
- Aims of the study
- Sampling strategy and characteristics (also process of recruitment, drop out)
- Description of the interventions
- Key findings/outcomes
- Overall quality rating of the study using the CASP Appraisal Tool Checklist (2018).
Data Analysis and Synthesis
It is anticipated by the research team that a wide range of study designs and outcomes will be returned as part of this review. The data extracted from this review will be presented in a thematic narrative format. It is hoped that this will include graphics and/or evidence tables. Where the review team determines that the best course of action is to use statistical summaries this approach will be implemented however, it is the view of the review team, informed by domain expertise, that this is unlikely.
Assessing the Risk of Bias
Initially, each study will be reviewed by two independent reviewers for quality using the CASP Appraisal Tool Checklist (2018). The intention of the review is not to exclude studies on the basis of bias rather it is to note the quality of the studies being reviewed. To examine for selective reporting of results, papers will be examined for indicators of multiple use of samples included in the papers. For example, this may include indicators that data has been drawn from larger projects, a published thesis or other papers. Papers that are determined to fall under this category will be checked against alternate sources, where available, to outcomes relevant to this review are being presented. Finally, GRADE-CERQual guidelines will also be followed in the assessment of outcome quality for methodological limitations, coherence, adequacy of data and relevance.
Amendments to the Protocol
Where there are unavoidable significant deviations from this protocol, such amendments will be recorded and reported within the result of the review.