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Complex Reviews Overview

Complex Reviews Module

Developing a better understanding of the broader forms of evidence synthesis

This module will be a compulsory module of the MSc in EBHC Systematic Reviews and an optional module for the MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care. It will also be open to stand-alone applicants where places remain available.

Let us know if you are interested in taking this module and we will inform you of the course dates in 2017 and 2018 when these are confirmed.

Module overview

Systematic reviews and meta-analysis play a major part in contributing to the pool of best available evidence in healthcare. Moreover, their results underpin national and international guidance.  Because of their importance, evidence synthesis methodology continues to evolve.

This module will focus on providing an understanding of the broader forms of evidence synthesis, and their methods, with a particular focus on complex reviews. Such reviews include diagnostic test accuracy reviews, clinical study reports, individual participant data (IPD), reviews of non-randomised data, and qualitative reviews. Students attending  this course will  gain insight into some of these more complex forms of evidence synthesis, as well as explore emerging forms of synthesis and learn how to incorporate these methods into a review protocol.

A basic understanding of systematic reviews is advantageous, but not essential.

Aims of the module

By the end of the course the aim is that students will be able to :

  • Recognise the need for the broader forms of evidence synthesis in healthcare

  • Develop the  skills needed to develop more advanced search strategies

  • Understand  the methods needed to conduct diagnostic test accuracy reviews

  • Recognise the need and value of individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis

  • Be familiar with clinical study reports, regulatory data  and the challenges of conducting reviews of such data

  • Understand the methods involved with conducting reviews of non randomised data

  • Become familiar with qualitative and mixed methods reviews

  • Explore further emerging forms of evidence synthesis


To book onto this course please visit the module webpage.




The Programme is delivered in conjunction with Oxford's Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and is supported by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.