Publication date: Jun 15, 2020
Abstract Introduction: Social distancing measures (SDMs) protect public health from the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the impact of SDMs has been inconsistent and unclear. This study aims to assess the effects of SDMs (e.g. isolation, quarantine) for reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Methods and analysis: We will conduct a systematic review meta-analysis research of both randomised controlled trials and non-randomised controlled trials. We will search MEDLINE, EMBASE, Allied & Complementary Medicine, COVID-19 Research and WHO database on COVID-19 for primary studies assessing the enablers and barriers associated with SDMs, and will be reported in accordance with PRISMA statement. The PRISMA-P checklist will be used while preparing this protocol. We will use Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines (JBI Critical Appraisal Checklists) to assess the methodological qualities and synthesised performing thematic analysis. Two reviewers will independently screen the papers and extracted data. If sufficient data are available, the random-effects model for meta-analysis will be performed to measure the effect size of SDMs or the strengths of relationships. To assess the heterogeneity of effects, I2 together with the observed effects (Q-value, with degrees of freedom) will be used to provide the true effects in the analysis. Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval and consent will not be required for this systematic review of the literature as it does not involve human participation. We will be able to disseminate the study findings using the following strategies: we will be publishing at least one paper in peer-reviewed journals, and an abstract will be presented at suitable national/international conferences or workshops. We will also share important information with public health authorities as well as with the World Health Organization.