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Title: Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) based COVID-19 health impact assessment: a systematic review
Contributor(s): Gebeyehu, Daniel Teshome  (author)orcid ; East, Leah  (author)orcid ; Wark, Stuart  (author)orcid ; Islam, Md Shahidul  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2023-02-15
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-023-15239-0
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Background The emergence of COVID-19 has resulted in health, socio-economic, and political crises. The overall health impact of this disease can be measured by disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) which is the sum of the life years lost due to disability (YLDs) and the years life lost due to premature death (YLLs). The overarching objective of this systematic review was to identify the health burdens of COVID-19 and summarise the literature that can aid health regulators to make evidence-based decisions on COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

Methods This systematic review was conducted using the PRISMA 2020 guidelines. DALYs-based primary studies were collected from databases, manual searches, and included studies’ references. The primary studies published in English language, conducted since the emergence of COVID-19, and using DALYs or its subsets (years life lost due to disability and/or years life lost due to premature death) as health impact metrics, were the inclusion criteria. The combined disability and mortality health impact of COVID-19 was measured in DALYs. The risk of bias due to literature selection, identification, and reporting processes was assessed using the Joanna Bridges Institute critical appraisal tool for cross-sectional studies, and the certainty of evidence was assessed using the GRADE Pro tool.

Result Of the 1459 identified studies, twelve of them were eligible for inclusion in the review. The years life lost due to COVID-19 related mortality was dominant over the years life lost due to COVID-19 related disability (disability times from the onset of COVID-19 to recovery, from diseases occurrence to mortality, and the long-term consequences of COVID-19) in all included studies. The long-term consequence disability time and the pre-death disability time were not assessed by most of the reviewed articles.

Conclusion The impact of COVID-19 on both the length and quality of life has been substantial and has been causing considerable health crises worldwide. The health burden of COVID-19 was greater than other infectious diseases. Further studies focussing on issues examining increasing preparedness for future pandemics, public sensitization, and multi-sectorial integration are recommended.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: BMC Public Health, v.23, p. 1-13
Publisher: Springer Nature
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1471-2458
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 420207 Major global burdens of disease
420309 Health management
420699 Public health not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200403 Disability and functional capacity
200406 Health protection and disaster response
200412 Preventive medicine
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Health
School of Rural Medicine

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