Clinical Epidemiology: Systematic Reviews


Clinical Epidemiology: Systematic Reviews

This course provides an introduction to developing a systematic review. By the end of this course the participant should be able to know the difference between a narrative and systematic review, list the steps of performing a systematic review, define a review question and eligibility criteria, to understand the concepts of a search strategy, to assess risk of bias with appropriate instruments, know the basic steps of meta-analysis, interpret meta-analysis results and draw meaningful conclusions.


The course consists of plenary presentations, interactive discussions and small-group exercises. The exercises include working with the (free) software programs Review Manager and GRADEpro. Please bring your laptop for these exercises. The course material will be made available on Blackboard.

Scheduled dates (application will be opened as soon as dates are approved and verified)


Edition: October 25, 26, 27 and 28, 2022

Edition: February 9, 10, 13 and 14, 2023

Edition: April 20, 21, 24 and 25, 2023

Target audience

The course is aimed at PhD candidates with no or very little systematic review experience and who are starting to work on a systematic review.

PhD candidates performing or planning a systematic review. Basic knowledge of clinical epidemiology / (study types, effect measures, statistical inference) is desirable.

Do you already have more experience with systematic reviews? Please check the course "Searching for a systematic review".

Study Load

20 hours, which is comparable to 0.7 ECTS points.


Systematic reviews can be developed to answer a variety of review questions, such as diagnostic, therapeutic or prognostic questions. The course covers the general approach of developing a systematic review: defining the review question and eligibility criteria for including studies, searching for studies, selection and data-extraction, assessment of risk of bias, (meta-)analysis and drawing conclusions. We will address methodological aspects as well as the process and practical issues.

For didactic reasons, the main focus is on how to perform a systematic review for therapeutic questions (health care interventions). Other types of systematic reviews will be addressed too, for example when we ask participants to discuss (in small group work) the review they are planning or performing, but in less detail.

Number of participants

Maximum 25 per course.


Attendance is registered.

For PhD candidates who want to register as Epidemiologist B, a formal exam will be organized.

Course Coordinator

Dr. M.W. Langendam

More information

Geldige e-mail is verplicht Vraag is verplicht