The increasing amount of research information produced each year makes it impossible for users of health research to evaluate and keep up-to-date with the new evidence. Consequently systematic reviews have a vital role in providing reliable syntheses of research for evidence-based decision-making.
This four day course will provide participants with a basis in the design, analysis and interpretation of systematic reviews of health research. Participants will be given grounding in all aspects involved in conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis, and will have the opportunity to gain practical experience of the tasks involved. By the end of the course participants will be equipped with the necessary skills to conduct their own high quality systematic reviews.
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
- Describe the principles of systematic reviews
- Interpret the results of systematic reviews
- Critically appraise existing systematic reviews
- Conduct their own high quality systematic reviews and meta-analysis
Who should attend?
Researchers including clinicians, nurses, epidemiologists and public health practitioners, who are interested in learning the key concepts involved in the design and production of high quality systematic reviews. Although examples used during the course will be taken from the health literature, the underlying concepts taught are applicable to other disciplines and applications from those interested in systematic reviews of non-health research literature are welcomed.
It is assumed that participants will have no prior experience of conducting systematic reviews, however will have a basic understanding of statistics and epidemiological study designs. Participants must also have a good command of English.
- Introduction to and rationale of systematic reviews of health research
- Question formulation and protocol development
- Planning and performing searches
- Selecting studies and extracting data
- Assessing risk of bias
- Introduction to statistical methods
- Introduction to software for meta-analysis
- Publication and reporting bias
- Systematic reviews of observational studies
- Systematic reviews in context
Method of Assessment
There will be no formal examination. A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to all completing the course.