EPID 757 - Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are useful for evidence-based clinical and public health practice. The widespread and growing application of systematic review methods for the synthesis of evidence on important or pressing research and clinical questions underscore the need for health-care professionals 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 and meta-analysis. Specific topics to be covered include: formulation of the review question, searching of literature, quality assessment of studies, data extraction, meta-analytic methods, assessment of heterogeneity 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, best evidence syntheses (qualitative systematic reviews) as well as examples of methods to evaluate heterogeneity and publication bias. STATA statistical software will be used to perform meta-analysis during the computer lab, along with tutorials on how to effectively use tools such as PubMed for conducting reviews.
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