Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis

EPIB-672: Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Course Description

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are critical for evidence-based clinical and public health practice. The widespread and growing application of systematic reviews to synthesize evidence on key research and clinical questions makes it useful for health professionals to be able to understand and critique this research design. This course will provide a detailed description of the systematic review process, discuss the strengths and limitations of the method, and provide step-by-step guidance on how to actually perform a systematic review.


Specific topics to be covered include: formulation of the review question, searching of literature, quality assessment of studies, data extraction, meta-analytic methods, and report writing. The course will also cover statistical issues such as selection of statistical models for meta-analysis, practical examples of fixed and random effects models as well as examples of methods to evaluate heterogeneity and publication bias; graphical and tabular templates for the presentation of meta-analysis data. STATA software package will be used, along with computer lab tutorials on how to effectively use tools such as PubMed and EndNote for conducting reviews. This course will feature invited speakers who will provide overviews of special topics.

Course outline

Lecture 1: Introduction to Systematic Reviews [Slides] [Audio]
Lecture 2: Formulating the Review Question [Slides] [Audio]
Lecture 3: Searching Screening and Selecting Studies [Slides] [Audio]
Lecture 4: Quality Assessment Data Extraction [Slides] [Audio]
Lecture 5: Data Analysis Statistics [Slides] [Audio]
Lecture 6: Systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy [Slides] [Audio]
Lecture 7: Writing a Systematic Review [Slides] [Audio]
Insert: Roadmap for Systematic Analysis 2014 [Slides] [Audio] [Handout]
Additional Publications
Step-by-step tutorial on how to do systematic reviews
Systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy
Standards for Systematic Review 2010