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Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: course review


The course leader was Elizabeth Arkema and she mainly gave us lectures. Same as other courses there were some lectors and they introduced some important course topics.

Course Themes

The aim of this course was to introduce the concepts and procedures of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The topic covered in this course were:

  • Basic concepts in systematic reviews and meta-analyses
  • How to write a study protocol for a systematic review
  • How to perform a systematic literature search 
  • Data extraction and quality assessment of included studies,
  • Statistical methods used in meta-analyses and interpretation,
  • Strengths, problems, and limitations of systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Course Schedule

This was an intensive 2-week course. As in the previous course, most of all the lectures were scheduled in the first week and the second week was for the assignment.

Week 1 schedule
Week 2 schedule


The assignment was to create a study protcol of a systematic review and meta-analysis. We decided topic during the first week with our own choice and reviewed each other’s work during the second week. We had to write about these sections:

  • Project title
  • Background/Rationale
  • Aim
  • Research question
  • Methods
    1. Eligibility criteria
    2. Search strategy
    3. Data items
    4. Risk of bias in individual studies
    5. Data synthesis
    6. Meta-bias
  • Dscussion

Group Work

We were divided into 3 groups and there were some group discussions throughout the course with a group leader who are PhD student and researchers in each group. Those sessions were very helpful to catch up with the course topics and to share ideas about the assignment with group members. The group activities were:

  • Disscussed about the assignment topic
  • Journal club
  • Compared good and bad examples of study protcol
  • Peer review of the first draft of the assignment


The individual assignment was the examination for the course and the assignment was graded “Fail” “Pass” or “Pass with distinction“.


I hope this review helped you to get to know about our program. Feel free to contact me if you have any kind of questions! Arigato 🙂


Sakura Sakakibara - Public Health (Epidemiology)

Sakura Sakakibara - Public Health (Epidemiology)

Hej! I am Sakura, a nurse as well as a public health nurse from Japan. I am a master student of Public Health Epidemiology and also a new blogger at KI. I love watching formula races and hiking. I look forward to sharing my experience with you here!


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