NRS8002 - Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examination
Grade: Passed/Failed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home examination 100/100

Course content

The role of systematic reviews, their impact and introduction to different types of systematic reviews: - 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

Learning outcome

Learning outcome: By the end of the course, the participants will have written a protocol to be published in PROSPERO. In addition will the participants: * Understand the role of a systematic review * Understand the difference between a narrative and a systematic review * Have knowledge of the basic elements for a protocol for a systematic review * Critically appraise different search strategies * Learn how to deal with "publication bias" * Develop and make a plan to find a relevant research for the own systematic review * Develop and plan inclusion and exclusion criteria * Develop and critically appraise a sheet for data extraction * Appraise risk of bias of included studies with explicit criteria in a transparent way * Be able to do and understand meta-analyse in RevMan * Pros and cons of combining outcomes of included studies * Be able to explore and appraise statistical, methodological and clinical heterogeneity * Be able to appraise the quality of the evidence with GRADE * Understand "summary of findings"-tables * Learn about systematic reviews of qualitative and diagnostic studies

Learning methods and activities

The course consists of lectures and activities in small groups and pairs, as well as individual writing time and one-to-one feedback from the instructor. After the course, participants can send their work to the instructor for additional feedback and follow-up. Before the written exam the students will have to hand in an exercise.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercise
  • Submission of exercise

Further on evaluation

The course is mainly lectures with interactive work in small groups to practice skills, all of which are directly related to the participants’ own research question. Between sessions, the participants are required to keep in contact with their instructor through e-mails and will be offered an hour of supervision. The course will constitute 5 ETCS. All course activities are mandatory and participants will give a presentation at the end of the last teaching block. The exam is to submit a protocol for a systematic review.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

The course is open to PhD candidates who are members of the Norwegian Research School of Global health (NRSGH). The maximum number of participants is 20 and the applicants must have a tentative research question ready for the systematic review. Registration through Norwegian Research School of Global Health webpage:

Course materials

Egger M, Davey Smith G, Altman D (eds). Systematic Reviews in Health Care. BMJ 2001. (Kap 1, 5,9, 15) Cochrane Handbook for systematic reviews of interventions (Kap. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10,11,12, 20) Nettkurs om kunnskapsbasert praksis: Guyatt GH, Oxman AD, Kunz R, Vist GE, Falck-Ytter Y, Schünemann HJ: GRADE Working Group. Rating quality of evidence and strength of recommendations: What is "quality of evidence" and why is it important to clinicians? BMJ. 2008 May 3;336(7651):995-8 For downloading of GRADEpro and more information about GRADE: Malterud K. Qualitative research: standards, challenges, and guidelines. The Lancet 2001; 358, 9280

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  5.0 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2021

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Medicine
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences


Examination arrangement: Home examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Home examination 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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