Investigating and dealing with bias in systematic reviews

Topic category Investigating bias
Date and Location
Wednesday 3 October 2012 - 13:30 - 15:00
Methods Group
Methods Group: 
Bias Methods Group
Contact persons and facilitators
Contact person Affiliation Country
Lucy-Ann Turner (Contact this person) Cochrane Bias Methods Group Canada
Facilitator Affiliation Country
Isabelle Boutron French Cochrane Center France
Lucy-Ann Turner Cochrane Bias Methods Group Canada
Other contributors
First nameLast nameAffiliation and Country
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
University of Bristol, UK
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
University of Oxford, UK
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada
Target audience
Target audience: 
Is your workshop restricted to a specific audience or open to all Colloquium participants?: 
Level of knowledge required: 
Type of workshop
Type of workshop: 
Abstract text
To introduce the different forms of bias that can affect systematic review results, and the methods that can be used to detect and address these biases.

The results of a systematic review can be distorted if bias has been introduced into the review process at any stage (e.g. biased location and selection of included studies, high risk of bias in the results of included studies). Accordingly, investigation of the presence, degree, and nature of bias is recommended as a routine part of the systematic review process. The Bias Methods Group draws together researchers interested in this field, and the Cochrane Handbook contains chapters on 'Assessing risk of bias in included studies' and 'Addressing reporting biases'. The workshop will largely draw upon the work of members of this Group, of which the facilitators are the co-Convenors. We will discuss potential biases that might be introduced into reviews, with an emphasis on the effects of flaws in the methodology of component studies. We will discuss how review authors should incorporate risk of bias assessments in meta-analyses. The workshop will consist of presentations and discussions with and among participants.