INTRODUCTION: Neurodevelopmental disorders are a group of disorders thought to be associated with the functioning of the brain and the nervous system. Children with neurodevelopmental disorders often have sleep-related comorbidities that may negatively affect quality of life for both the children and their families. Melatonin is one of the most used interventions in children with neurodevelopmental disorders and sleep disorders. Previous reviews have investigated the effects of melatonin for sleep disorders in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, but these had important limitations, such as inadequate analysis of adverse effects, small sample sizes and short follow-up.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a protocol for a systematic review with meta-analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis of randomised clinical trials. The protocol is reported in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocols. We will search for published and unpublished trials in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE Ovid, Embase Ovid, LILACS, Science Citation Index Expanded, Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science, PsycINFO, ClinicalTrials.gov and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. We will search the databases from their inception without language restrictions. We will also request clinical study reports from regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical companies. Review authors working in pairs will screen reports, extract data and conduct risk of bias assessments using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. We will include randomised clinical trials comparing melatonin versus placebo or no intervention for sleep disorders in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Primary outcomes will be total sleep time and adverse effects. Secondary outcomes will be quality of life of the child and caregivers and sleep onset latency. Data will be analysed using random-effects and fixed-effect meta-analyses. Certainty of evidence will be assessed with Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was not required for this protocol. The systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42022337530.
- Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
- Melatonin/therapeutic use
- Meta-Analysis as Topic
- Neurodevelopmental Disorders/complications
- Quality of Life
- Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
- Sleep Latency
- Sleep Wake Disorders/drug therapy
- Systematic Reviews as Topic
- SLEEP MEDICINE
- Developmental neurology & neurodisability
- Paediatric neurology