Reviews of effectiveness within a wider world of syntheses of knowledge

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
Alison O'Mara-Eves (Contact this person) EPPI-Centre, Institute of Education United Kingdom
Facilitator Affiliation Country
Alison O'Mara-Eves EPPI-Centre, Institute of Education United Kingdom
Sandy Oliver EPPI-Centre, Institute of Education United Kingdom
David Gough EPPI-Centre, SSRU, Institute of Education, London United Kingdom
Other contributors
First nameLast nameAffiliation and Country
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
EPPI Centre, UK
Target audience
Target audience: 
Review authors and editors
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
Participants will gain:
• a clearer understanding of the contribution of Cochrane reviews of effectiveness to the broader movement of synthesising knowledge; and
• a rationale for choosing between different approaches to synthesis.

Synthesis methods range from statistical meta-analysis and meta-regression to thematic synthesis and meta-ethnography. The workshop will begin with an introduction to a range of approaches to systematic reviewing, explaining how choosing between them depends upon the motivation for reviewing (enhancing understanding or informing policy or practice), the conceptual clarity before reviewing begins, and the nature of the studies available. Each approach has implications for the methods employed to find, appraise and synthesize studies, and for how they contribute to evidence about the choice and design of complex interventions.

Practical exercises will focus on choosing appropriate methods for systematic reviews, and choosing systematic reviews or combinations of systematic reviews to inform the design or implementation of complex interventions. The workshop will draw on examples of reviews suggested by the facilitators and participants.