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August 19 & 20, 2022

Systematic Review: An Introductory Workshop



Reliable scientific evidence is key for empirically grounded healthcare practice. The best scientific evidence comes from the critical analysis and synthesis of all the available studies and not from individual studies. Such analytical approaches, called systematic reviews, provide invaluable guidance on evidence-based healthcare and medical practice. They help healthcare providers and institutions ensure delivery of optimal, safe, effective and patient-centered care. Additionally, systematic reviews support evidence-based practices in public health, research and education.

Specifically, a systematic review is a type of literature review that is conducted following a rigorous, transparent, and consistent process. It aims to identify, select, appraise, and synthesize in an unbiased manner all available secondary data to answer a specific and well-formulated research question. The workshop will introduce participants to the process of conducting a rigorous systematic review based on scientific principles, systematic methodology, and standardized guidelines.

Identified Practice Gaps/Educational Needs

It is well established that systematic reviews provide invaluable guidance on evidence-based healthcare and medical practice and inform best practices in public health, research and education. Guidelines for conducting rigorous systematic reviews were published in 2008 (Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions). A recently published article by Chaabna et al. (2018), identified that a substantial proportion of published systematic reviews from Qatar and the region failed to adhere to the rigorous reporting guidelines pertaining to the methodology and the reported outcomes. Healthcare professionals are deficient in knowledge about conducting systematic reviews because of lack of training in healthcare professions schools. Additionally, healthcare professionals are deficient in conducting and reporting systematic reviews because of lack of time to follow up and practice the methodology, inadequate support from work institutions, and lack of emphasis on the significance of systematic reviews from all stakeholders involved in the provision of healthcare. The activity will help address practice gaps for an identified educational need among healthcare professionals, educators and researchers.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

1. Define evidence-based medicine, meta-analysis, and systematic review

2. Formulate a research question

3. Outline steps in a systematic review

Target Audience

This workshop is intended for all physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, allied health practitioners, educators, researchers and administrators.

Institute for Population Health