|Authors||Essex, R., Weldon, S.M., Thompson, T., Kalocsanyiova, E., McCrone, E. and Deb, S.|
Introduction A strike is a collective, temporary and calculated action, which involves a temporary stoppage of work. For healthcare professionals strike action poses a unique dilemma. Perhaps most fundamentally, as strike action is designed to be disruptive it has the potential to impact the delivery of care and place patient well-being in jeopardy. The objective of this study is therefore to evaluate the impact of healthcare strike action on patient mortality outcomes globally using meta-analysis in order to provide a comprehensive evidence base that can advise healthcare professionals, governments and regulatory bodies on the impact that strike action has on patients.
Methods and analysis A comprehensive literature search of major electronic databases (EMBASE, MEDLINE, CINAHL, BIOETHICSLINE, EconLit, WEB OF SCIENCE, OPEN GREY and SIGMA REPOSITORY) will be undertaken to identify observational studies of strike action among healthcare professionals where in-hospital/clinic and population/community mortality is examined, prestrike, during and poststrike. Meta-analysis will be performed to estimate in-hospital/clinic and population/community mortality during periods of strike action. The quality of evidence will be assessed using the National Institute of Health quality assessment tool for observational cohort and cross-sectional studies. Risk of bias will be assessed using the Cochrane Risk Of Bias In Non-Randomized Studies - of Interventions tool.
Ethics and dissemination This study does not require ethical approval. Findings will be submitted to an appropriate peer-reviewed journal.
Trial registration number CRD42021238879.