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Methods for Conducting Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

East Baltimore
3rd term
4 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online with Some Asynchronous Online
Class Times:
  • M W,  1:30 - 2:50pm
Lab Times:
  • Friday,  1:30 - 2:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Ann Ervin

2 terms of Epidemiology methods and 2 terms of Biostatistics [(340.601 & 340.602, 340.721 & 340.722 or 340.751 & 340.752) and (140.621 & 140.622 or 140.651 & 140.652)]


Presents basic methods in the qualitative and quantitative meta-analysis, including formulating a hypothesis that can be addressed via meta-analysis, methods for searching the literature, abstracting information, and synthesizing the evidence. Quantitative methods include Bayesian and likelihood approaches to meta-analysis. Emphasizes essential steps of conducting systematic reviews through hands-on exercises. Focuses on analytical skills in performing meta-analyses and network meta-analyses.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the role of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in public health and medicine
  2. Explain the essential steps of conducting a systematic review
  3. Formulate an answerable research question using the "PICO" framework
  4. Design search strategies for PubMed and Embase
  5. Collect data for a systematic review
  6. Appraise the risk of bias of primary studies
  7. Conduct, present, and interpret the results of meta-analyses and network meta-analyses
  8. Critique the methodologic rigor (or quality) of systematic reviews
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 10% Discussion
  • 30% Group Project(s)
  • 10% Group Work
  • 50% Lab Assignments

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for all students

Consent Note:

Background knowledge must be approved.

For consent, contact:

Special Comments:

LAB is an essential part of the course and attendance is required.