Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis

Methodological Basis of Health Technology Assessment
Students will be provided with a detailed overview of the methodological basis of undertaking systematic reviews and health technology assessments. Areas that will be covered include: methods of literature searching; publication and related biases; approaches to study selection and data extraction; assessment of quality of trials (and other study designs); data synthesis and analysis methods including meta-analysis; report writing and approaches to the dissemination and implementation of findings.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:
• Define a systematic review question and develop criteria for study selection
• Plan and undertake a search for high quality evidence relating to a topic of healthcare effectiveness
• Recognise the strengths and limitations of different types of healthcare evidence and be able to interpret their findings in the context of study quality
• Gain an understanding of the methodological issues and potential biases associated with systematic reviews of different study designs including randomised controlled trials, observational studies, diagnostic test accuracy studies and qualitative research
• Understand how to undertake a meta-analysis of a group of clinical trials and related analyses such as indirect and mixed treatment comparisons
• Use STATA® and Review Manager (RevMan) software for meta-analysis
• Prepare a protocol for a systematic review/health technology assessment

20 credits

Module Attendance Required
2 block weeks of teaching

Module Dates

8 - 12 December 2014 and 12 - 16 January 2015

One written assignment and one exam taking place in May 2015.

Module Coordinators 
David Moore and Dr Janine Dretzke

Stand Alone Course
This module can be taken as a standalone course. In the past, course participants have included people working in HTA organisations, health care or the pharmaceutical industry, and Masters and PhD students who intend to undertake a systematic review.

To apply, please contact the Programme Coordinator on 0121 414 7577 or at All applications must be received a minimum of one month before the start date of the module. For further information on fees and entry requirements, please contact the Programme Coordinator. The module can be taken as assessed or non assessed.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, module