Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis

3-Day Certified University Course: 20 - 22 March 2025


This 3-day virtual hands-on workshop provides an introduction to conducting systematic reviews, evidence synthesis and meta-analyses. We will cover how to formulate an answerable research question, perform a literature search, extract data, assess study quality and risk of bias, perform a meta-analysis and report results. The course will be interactive and practical, with a mixture of lectures, hands-on tutorials and computer exercises.


Day 1: Steps in conducting systematic reviews: Research question (PICO), hypothesis generation, determining the outcome and effect measure to be used, planning and designing the literature search strategy and systematic review, eligibility criteria, Cochrane collaboration.

Day 2: Conducting systematic reviews and steps in conducting meta-analysis: PROSPERO, review protocol, data sources (published and unpublished studies), study selection process, data extraction, study quality and risk of bias, selecting the statistical model (fixed or random effects model).

Day 3: Conducting meta-analysis and role of meta-analysis in health technology assessment: Conducting a meta-analysis for dichotomous and for continuous data, assessing and managing heterogeneity, forest plots, subgroup and meta-regression analysis, interpreting, discussing and reporting the findings, role of meta-analysis in health technology assessment.

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