SA4M9E      Half Unit
Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Elias Mossialos COW.4.08

Dr. Huseyin Naci


A core course available only for students taking MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Cardiovascular Sciences

Course content

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials are increasingly used to evaluate the relative benefits and harms of healthcare interventions. In situations where direct, head-to-head comparisons of interventions do not exist, researchers also perform indirect comparisons of two or more interventions to address comparative effectiveness questions. This course will teach the principles of qualitative and quantitative meta-analysis, including methods for searching the literature, extracting information, and synthesizing the evidence. Quantitative methods will include traditional pair-wise meta-analysis and advanced Bayesian network meta-analysis that are increasingly common within health technology assessment agencies.


20 hours of seminars and 1 hour of help sessions in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 5 pieces of coursework in the ST.

5 brief response papers to each set of readings in preparation for each seminar.

Indicative reading

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Inter ventions (version 5.1.0, updated March 2011).

Institute of Medicine. Finding what works in health care: standards for systematic reviews. 23 March 2011.

Sutton AJ et al. Methods for Meta-analysis in Medical Research. Wiley, Chichester, UK, 2000.

Cook DJ. Systematic reviews: synthesis of best evidence for clinical decisions. Annals of internal medicine 1997;126(5):376–80.

Jansen JP et al. Is network meta-analysis as valid as standard pair wise meta- analysis? It all depends on the distribution of effect modifiers. BMC medicine 2013;11(1):159.

Jansen JP et al. Interpreting indirect treatment comparisons and network meta- analysis for health-care decision making: report of the ISPOR Task Force on Indirect Treatment Comparisons Good Research Practices: part 1. Value Health 2011;14(4):417–28.


Research project (100%) in the ST.

This is an assessed project of 5,000 words (100%).

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills