Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Critical Appraisal Course

20th - 22nd November 2017

Course outline

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to systematic review methodology and critical appraisal skills. Attention will be restricted to the quantitative evaluation of effectiveness in health related research. The course will use a combination of seminars, group work and practical sessions to introduce the following topics:

  • The role of systematic reviews and their impact
  • Developing a protocol for a systematic review
  • Literature searching
  • Critical appraisal of primary studies and systematic reviews
  • Data extraction
  • Synthesis and meta-analysis
  • Reporting and disseminating of systematic reviews


Maximum of 20 participants

Course Content

Introduction to systematic reviews
Overview lecture that introduces key concepts and examples

Developing the review question and your protocol
Structured discussion and group work to develop a detailed review question according to PICOS criteria

Literature searching
Introduction to key searching ideas, sources and methods

Study selection/data extraction
Introduction to software, practical exercises in study selection and data extraction decision making

Quality assessment & critical appraisal of primary studies
Introduction to key factors affecting trial results, practical session appraising example papers

Data synthesis
Overview of summary statistics, introduction to methods statistical synthesis and meta-analysis

Meta-analysis practical
Using computer software to demonstrate how to undertake meta-analysis in practice

Reporting a systematic review
Discussion of key criteria and reporting requirements

Case study of disseminating the results from a systematic review

Critical appraisal of systematic reviews
Practical session appraising and discussing a systematic review

The course will be delivered by researchers and information specialists with knowledge and experience in undertaking systematic reviews on a wide range of healthcare topics. The course will run from 9am to 5pm on the first two days and 9am to 4pm on the final day.


Booking form available via the following link:-

SRC Booking Form (MS Word  , 35kb)

If you require any other information or would like to be notified of future courses, please email:  or tel: 01904 321040.