Background: Calculating the disease burden due to injury is complex, as it requires many methodological choices. Until now, an overview of the methodological design choices that have been made in burden of disease (BoD) studies in injury populations is not available. The aim of this systematic literature review was to identify existing injury BoD studies undertaken across Europe and to comprehensively review the methodological design choices and assumption parameters that have been made to calculate years of life lost (YLL) and years lived with disability (YLD) in these studies. Methods: We searched EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Central, Google Scholar, and Web of Science, and the grey literature supplemented by handsearching, for BoD studies. We included injury BoD studies that quantified the BoD expressed in YLL, YLD, and disability-adjusted life years (DALY) in countries within the European Region between early-1990 and mid-2021. Results: We retrieved 2,914 results of which 48 performed an injury-specific BoD assessment. Single-country independent and Global Burden of Disease (GBD)-linked injury BoD studies were performed in 11 European countries. Approximately 79% of injury BoD studies reported the BoD by external cause-of-injury. Most independent studies used the incidence-based approach to calculate YLDs. About half of the injury disease burden studies applied disability weights (DWs) developed by the GBD study. Almost all independent injury studies have determined YLL using national life tables. Conclusions: Considerable methodological variation across independent injury BoD assessments was observed; differences were mainly apparent in the design choices and assumption parameters towards injury YLD calculations, implementation of DWs, and the choice of life table for YLL calculations. Development and use of guidelines for performing and reporting of injury BoD studies is crucial to enhance transparency and comparability of injury BoD estimates across Europe and beyond.
- Burden of disease
- Burden of Injury
- Disability-adjusted life years