Details of past seminars Details of past seminars

Reviewing for the Cochrane Collaboration

Location: D'Arcy Thompson Room
Date: 19 Dec 2012 (12:00-13:00)
Research Group: East Anglian Research Synthesis
Speaker: Dr. Katherine Deane (NSC)
Organiser: Prof. Elena Kulinskaya
Institution: School of Nursing Sciences, UEA

Reviewing for the Cochrane Collaboration Writing reviews for the Cochrane Collaboration is challenging but rewarding - and this seminar aims to give you a few tips on how to make a success of it:

  • What sorts of reviews do Cochrane want?
  • What sorts of training do Cochrane offer? And what else is available
  • What is the process of writing a Cochrane?
  • Basics of how to use Cochrane software - RevMan
  • Legitimate double publications - maximising impact

Download Reviewing for  the Cochrane Collaboration
 (PDF, 1.65Mb)

Research synthesis methods: applications and challenges

Location: EDU 0.112
Date: 28 Nov 2012 (12:00-13:00)
Research Group: East Anglian Research Synthesis
Speaker: Professor Fujian Song (NMS)
Organiser: Dr. Katharina Huber
Institution: Norwich Medical School, UEA

Research synthesis methods: applications and challenges (PDF, 203Kb

If nothing happens, is everything alright?

Location: D'Arcy Thompson Room
Date: 31 Oct 2012 (12:00-13:00)
Research Group: East Anglian Research Synthesis
Speaker: Dr. Yoon Loke (NMS)
Organiser: Prof. Elena Kulinskaya
Institution: Norwich Medical School, UEA

While systematic reviews and meta-analyses are top of the evidence hierarchy, most of the work has concentrated on evaluation of treatment benefit, rather than adverse effects or harm. There are unique methodological challenges stemming from the diversity of adverse outcomes ranging from common, mild symptoms to rare, fatal events, thus making it almost impossible to design a single study that addresses all facets. Reviewers should bear in mind possibility of Type II errors (a particular problem when evaluating rare adverse effects) that lull us into a false sense of security (e.g. wrongly concluding that there was no significant difference in the rate of adverse effects between drug and control, with the drug erroneously judged as safe). Hence, it is important to retrieve and assess particular study designs that are most likely to yield robust data on the adverse effects of interest, rather than rely on studies that are poor at measuring certain types of adverse effects, thus leading to ‘false

Diagnostic Accuracy Reviews

Location: SCI 0.67
Date: 16:00-17:00 18 Apr 2012
Research Group: EARs
Speaker: Dr Lee Hooper
Organiser: Prof. Elena Kulinskaya
Institution: Norwich Medical School, UEA

Diagnostic accuracy systematic reviews – methods, concepts and an example (signs of water-loss dehydration in older people).

Systematically reviewing studies of diagnostic accuracy involves different methods, concepts and challenges than systematically reviewing other study designs. Some of the difficulties are due to still-developing methods, but much progress has been made over the past decade. This talk will tackle some of the concepts and challenges and use an example of an ongoing cochrane review of diagnostic accuracy. The review aims to assess the diagnostic accuracy of clinical and physical signs that may be to screen for water-loss dehydration in people aged 65 years or more.

Investigating inconsistencies in mixed treatment analysis: a case study

Location: EFRY 1.34
Date: 12:00-13:00 29 Feb 2012
Speaker: Dr Asmaa Abdelhamid (NMS)
Organiser: Prof Elena Kulinskaya
Institution: Norwich Medical School, UEA

The use of indirect and mixed treatment comparison methods (ITC & MTC) to compare the ever increasing number of competing clinical interventions is becoming gradually more acceptable. The understanding about factors associated with the validity of the methods is hampered due to very limited and often conflicting empirical evidence. Although the basic assumption for a valid mixed treatment analysis is theoretically clear, practically useful methods for assessing the appropriateness of ITC and MTC have not been systematically developed and tested. We aimed to explore the factors (including results of similarity assessment and other comparison characteristics) associated with the validity of adjusted indirect comparison. From a Cochrane Systematic review that provided sufficient data for both direct and indirect comparison of two antibiotics (ciprofloxacin and rifampin) for preventing meningococcal infections, striking inconsistency was observed. The direct comparison (DC) found that prophylactic ciprofloxacin tended to be less efficacious than rifampin in the eradication of N meningitidis (OR 2.75, 95% CI 0.93 to 8.12), while the corresponding indirect comparison provided a contrasting result in favour of ciprofloxacin (OR 0.11, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.41). We closely examined the three sets of trials for baseline comparability of participants, interventions and other factors in order to identify different treatment-effect modifiers that could have affected the results. We also surveyed the review authors for their views. We found many differences that could have contributed to the discrepancy including; different doses, different inclusion criteria.

In summary, the results of the adjusted indirect comparison may not be consistent with the DC results due to imbalanced distribution of treatment-effect modifiers.