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Investigating clinical heterogeneity in systematic reviews

Topic category Other methods for preparing systematic reviews
Date and Location
Saturday 22 October 2011 - 14:00 - 15:30
Methods Group
Methods Group: 
Contact person
Contact person: 
Joel Gagnier (Contact this person)
First nameLast nameAffiliation and Country
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
University of Michigan, USA
Target audience
Target audience: 
Review Authors
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
Objectives: To aid systematic reviewers in investigating clinical aspects of heterogeneity in systematic reviews of controlled trials.

Description: While there is some consensus on methods in systematic reviews for investigating statistical and methodological heterogeneity, little attention has been paid to clinical aspects of heterogeneity. Clinical heterogeneity may be defined as differences within and between trials that arise from variables related to the patients, intervention, outcome measurements and research setting. Recently, consensus based recommendations were created to guide reviewers on methods for investigating clinical heterogeneity. This includes recommendations regarding expertise to include in the review process, how to choose variables, statistical methods for investigating the influence of such variables, and how these investigations can be used in forming conclusions or improve the applicability of systematic reviews. We will present these recommendations in detail and allow participants to work through this material with research questions of their own specific interest.