How to Undertake a Systematic Review

When Mar 15, 2016 09:15 AM to Mar 16, 2016 03:15 PM
Where Edinburgh
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Description: Day 1. An introduction to systematic reviews


The day will include the following topics:

What are systematic reviews and why are they important?

Different types of systematic reviews (e.g. of qualitative and quantitative studies)

Building blocks of a systematic review

i) how to  develop a review question

ii) how to  develop inclusion and exclusion criteria

iii) how to  develop a search strategy

iv) applying inclusion and exclusion criteria

v) quality appraisal

vi) data extraction and recording processes


The day will be a mix of lectures (knowledge building) and group work (skill building)


Day 2.  Analysing studies for a systematic review


Morning: analysing quantitative studies (randomised controlled trials) [non-experimental designs are not included in this course]

This is a basic level course, and not intended to give in-depth statistical advice or teaching. It is more of an overview of the range of techniques, and when to use them.

Introduction to analytical methods for quantitative experimental studies (i.e. RCTs, quasi-RCTs, controlled studies)

Understanding and dealing with heterogeneity


Subgroup analysis

Narrative analysis

Drawing conclusions

Making recommendations for research and practice.


The session will draw on a Cochrane Systematic review by the lecturer:

Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections


Afternoon session: analysis of qualitative studies (e.g. focus group and interview studies)

The aim of this session is to introduce two of the main analytical techniques used in synthesising  qualitative studies (thematic analysis and meta-ethnography). Both are relatively technical so this will be an overview session rather than providing everyskill neeeded to perform such an analysis. However, participants will have an opportunity to undertake a thematic analysis.

Introduction to qualitative synthesis

Thematic synthesis: what is it and how to do it

Meta-ethnography: what it is and how to do it

Quality appraisal of qualitative studies

Drawing conclusions

Making recommendations for research and practice.

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