Systematic reviews of trials and other studies


Systematic review and meta-analytical methods are already common approaches to the assessment of health technology and related areas, and increasing adoption of such approaches may be foreseen, in part in response to increasingly wide emphasis on evidence-based approaches to medicine and health care. This report aimed to identify applications of systematic review and meta-analytical methods in Health Technology Assessment (HTA); to promote further, appropriate use of such approaches in these areas of application; and to begin to identify priorities for further methodological developments in this field.


A large number of papers concerning methodology relevant to different aspects of systematic reviews were identified. While the ordering of the report follows the stages involved in carrying out a systematic review, it is highly structured in a way which enables readers with specific interests to locate particularly relevant sections easily.

Conducted by: AJ Sutton1, KR Abrams1, DR Jones1, TA Sheldon2, F Song3

1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Leicester; 2. York Health Policy Group, University of York; 3. NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination

Further details

Project page on HTA Programme website


Sutton AJ, Abrams KR, Jones DR, Sheldon TA, Song F. Systematic reviews of trials and other studies. Health Technol Assess. 1998;2(19):1-276


Commissioned by the HTA Programme