Event Details

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Systematic review and meta-analysis course

RCPE Course Edinburgh

Date: Thursday, 28 February 2019


Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
9 Queen Street


This one day course provides an introduction to the process of systematic review and meta-analysis. You will receive an overview of concepts and methodology, and guidance to support further learning. It is aimed at those early in their career with little or no research experience and there is no need to have previously performed a review. The course will be useful if you are planning or performing a systematic review, or to enable you to interpret published reviews.


Primarily early years’ medical trainees (CMT2 and ST3) but suitable for anyone who wants to gain a basic understanding of this area.

What does the course cover?

  • Introduction to systematic reviews

  • Developing a research question

  • Introduction to literature searching for systematic reviews including practical session

  • What  to do after the search, including assessing risk of bias and presenting findings

  • Introduction to meta-analysis

  • Clinical applications

Places are restricted to 20, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Dr Susan Shenkin
Course Director

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Thursday 28 February 2019


Registration and Coffee


Introduction to systematic reviews
Dr Susan Shenkin, Senior Clinical Lecturer, Geriatric Medicine, University of Edinburgh
*what is a systematic review? *when is it needed? *the overall process: RCTs and observational studies *planning a protocol: PRISMA-P; PROSPERO


Developing a research question (practical session)
Dr Terry Quinn (with Susan Shenkin & Rebecca Woodfield)
*develop PICO and inclusion/exclusion criteria for our question


Introduction to literature searching for systematic reviews
Dr Josh Cheyne
*when to approach a librarian *scoping *how to develop search terms




Literature search (practial session)
Dr Josh Cheyne
*develop search strategy for our questions *identifying resources to search *developing a search strategy *running the searches *processing the results


After the search (including practical session)
Dr Rebeca Woodfield
*screening studies; tools e.g. Covidence, Distiller; data extraction




Risk of bias (include practical session: RoB scoring exercise using paper given out before)
Dr Susan Shenkin
*source of bias *risk of bias tools for RCTs and observational studies *reporting RoB


Presenting findings
Dr Ken Lee or Dr Anoop Shah
*PRISMA *Cochrane (MECIR) *summarising data *narrative synthesis *when to use meta-analysis (and when not to)




Introduction to meta-analysis (interactive session)
Dr Anoop Shah/Ken Lee
*what data are required *clinical and statistical heterogeneity *forest plots


Clinical applications
Dr Terry Quinn
*how SRs inform Evidence Based Medicine, guideline development, GRADE *critical appraisal of SRs (AMSTAR)


Discussion and questions




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Online booking for this event closes on Friday 1 February 2019 but places may still be available after that date - please contact the Education Co-ordinator for further information.

Places are restricted to 20, so please book early to avoid disappointment


Registration fees (includes lunch and refreshments)

Standard fee


*Discounted rate: - £49  -   If you have also registered and paid to attend the "RCPE Introduction to clinical research including critical appraisal course" on 26 & 27 February 2019, a £50 refund will be issued. This refund will only be issued following confirmation of your place on both course.  

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Further Info

This course is aimed primarily at early years’ medical trainees (CMT2 and ST3) but suitable for anyone who wants to gain a basic understanding of this area.   A limited number of places are available. If you are unsure about eligibility, please contact the RCPE member of staff responsible for the event.

A certificate attendance will be issued at the end of the course. Please note - certificates will only be issued to attendees who attend and complete the feedback form.

Please note that on occasion event programmes may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.

A professional photographer may be in attendance at this event. Photographs may be used by the College in digital and printed publicity material. If you do not wish to be photographed, please let a member of staff know at the registration desk.


As a listed building, the College has restricted disabled access. A wheelchair lift is provided at the rear of the College giving access to the main historic rooms. For further information and assistance please contact the RCPE Co-ordinator responsible for the event.

An induction loop system is available in the Great Hall.

Accommodation and Directions to the College

The College has negotiated special rates with a number of local hotels.

Parking is available on street (metered) or at the Omni Centre car park, 10 minute's walk from the College.

Download pdf map and directions

Bicycle racks are available for cyclists at the door to 8 Queen Street. For access to further bicycle racks, please ask at reception.

Local walking routes

Three short walks can be enjoyed from the College. So if you are visiting us, why not explore the local area. Details can be found at Medal Routes.

Commercial Sponsorship

Many events are supported by commercial companies taking stand space. Health professionals and NHS managers are invited to visit the company stands during the breaks. Companies interested in sponsoring this, or other events listed on the Calendar, should contact the Co-ordinator responsible for the event.

Exhibitors/sponsors play no part in the planning or delivery of the event and the College has developed an Ethical Sponsorship Policy to support organising committees and committee chairs in their negotiations with potential commercial partners for education and other events.

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