Through a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals, 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.
The aim of this module is to equip students with all the practical skills needed to undertake and complete a systematic review on a topic related to healthcare. It will provide students with a number of valuable transferable skills, which aim to change the way they think about medical evidence. These include enhanced critical appraisal, analytical, statistical, information gathering and writing skills, and a good understanding of research methodologies. The intellectual stimuli and challenges will be consistent with those required for a master’s degree course.
The principle areas to be covered include literature searching and study selection, quality assessment of studies, data analysis and interpretation, information synthesis and report writing. By the end of the module the student 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
Teaching consists of lectures, small group work, supervised learning, practical exercises and advice on specific reviews. Wherever possible, teaching and learning will draw upon real life HTA/systematic review examples. There will be personal reading and work on the students’ own chosen systematic review outside of the teaching days. Those students taking the module as part of an assessed programme of study will be required to sit an examination (usually in May) and complete an assignment which is to develop a protocol for a systematic review.
Module Attendance Required
2 block weeks of teaching
12 - 16 November 2012
14 - 18 January 2013
Assessed by one assignment and one exam.
Stand Alone Course
This module can be taken as a stand alone course if required. To apply, please contact Tricia Henley, Programme Administrator, 0121 414 3163, email@example.com.
All applications for the module must be received by the course administrator a minimum of one month before the start date of the module. If you have any queries regarding the suitability of this course for your needs, please contact Tricia Henley as above, who will put you in touch with one of the module coordinators (Yen-Fu Chen and Janine Dretzke), who will be happy to advise. 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.
Fee if taken as a stand alone course
For further information on fees please contact the Programme Administrator.
Entry requirements if taken as a stand alone course
For further information on requirements please contact the Programme Administrator.