Introduction to Systematic Reviews: Two-Day Workshop

Registration is closed and we have a waiting list. If you have registered and have to cancel please email us (address below).

Oslo, Norway  2-3 May 2017

Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Pilestredet Park 7 (Entrance from Stensberggata)









The best empirical evidence for policy and practice comes not from single studies, but from careful analyses and syntheses of multiple studies on the same topic. Replication is an essential principle of science, but pure replications are very rare in social research. Instead, most studies investigate variations on important themes: How widespread are various conditions? Which risk and protective factors are associated with specific conditions? How acceptable are certain interventions in different populations? Which interventions have been rigorously evaluated with what results? What works best for whom under what conditions? These questions and others can be addressed with systematic reviews and meta-analyses, even in the presence of substantial (and statistical) heterogeneity across studies.


This workshop focuses on the scientific principles, methods, and evidence-based standards that guide the conduct of rigorous systematic reviews and meta-analyses to inform policy and practice. Participants will learn:

  • Principles and methods of research synthesis,
  • Common sources of bias and error in research reviews,
  • Steps in the systematic review process,
  • Steps in conducting meta-analysis,
  • Strategies for minimizing bias and error at each step,
  • Evidence-based standards for systematic reviews,
  • How to obtain more information and practical advice on research synthesis,
  • How to identify local and global challenges and partnerships for research synthesis, and
  • Uses and misuses of research synthesis to inform policy, practice, and further research.


This workshop includes lectures, discussion, a small group exercise, and computer exercise. To participate in the computer exercise, participants should download Cochrane’s RevMan software from this site:


Professor Julia H. Littell (Bryn Mawr College, USA) and Karianne Hammerstrøm (Senior advisor at RBUP)

Registration is closed and we have a waiting list. If you need to cancel please email Audrey Portes at stating name and affiliation.


Day 1: Tuesday, 2 May 2017

9.00 - 9.15           Welcome and introductions

9.15 - 10.30         Principles and Methods of Research Synthesis – Julia


10.30 - 10.45      Break

10.45 - 11.30      Problem formulation – Julia

                               Small group exercise

11.00 - 12.00      Information retrieval - Karianne

12.00 - 13.00      Lunch   

13.00 -  14.45     Data evaluation - Karianne

Screening studies and coding study content

Critical appraisal: The risk of bias framework

14.45 – 15.00     Break

15.00 - 16.00     Introduction to meta-analysis - Julia

16:00-16:30        End of day quiz


Day 2: Wednesday, 3 May 2017

9.00 – 10.30        More on meta-analysis - Julia

Effect sizes: computation and interpretation

Tests of homogeneity/heterogeneity

Exercise: Creating and interpreting forest plots with Cochrane’s RevMan software

10.30 - 10.45      Break

10.45- 12.00       Subgroup and moderator analysis, meta-regression

                               Assessment of publication bias and other biases

12.00 - 12.30      Lunch

12.30 – 14.00     Network for Rigorous Evidence

Presentations on Evidence Mapping, an Evidence and Gap Map for Children at Risk, and Cost Analysis in Systematic Reviews.

14.00-14.15            Break

14.15 – 15.45     Interpreting and reporting results

                               Reporting standards

                               Evidence in context: Uses and misuses of systematic reviews in policy and practice

                               Additional resources

15.45 - 16.15      End of day quiz

Contact Us

  • P.O. Box 222, Skøyen ,
    N-0213 Oslo, Norway
  • (+47) 21 07 81 00
  • (+47) 23 25 50 10
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