Investigating clinical heterogeneity in systematic reviews

Topic category Other methods for preparing systematic reviews
Date and Location
Tuesday 2 October 2012 - 13:30 - 15:00
Contact persons and facilitators
Contact person Affiliation Country
Joel Gagnier (Contact this person) University of Michigan USA
Facilitator Affiliation Country
Joel Gagnier University of Michigan USA
Other contributors
First nameLast nameAffiliation and Country
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
University of Michigan, USA
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada
Target audience
Target audience: 
Review authors
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 aid systematic review authors in investigating clinical aspects of heterogeneity in systematic reviews of controlled trials.

While there is some consensus on methods in systematic reviews for investigating statistical and methodological heterogeneity, little attention has been paid to clinical aspects of heterogeneity. Clinical heterogeneity may be defined as differences within and between trials that arise from variables related to the patients, intervention, outcome measurements and research setting.

Recently, consensus-based recommendations were created to guide reviewers on methods for investigating clinical heterogeneity. This includes recommendations regarding expertise to include in the review process, how to choose variables, statistical methods for investigating the influence of such variables, and how these investigations can be used in forming conclusions or improve the applicability of systematic reviews. We will present these recommendations in detail and allow participants to work through this material with research questions of their own specific interest.