The number of primary studies evaluating prognostic factors and models is rising per day. Alike for therapies and diagnostic tests, critically summarizing and analyzing the evidence form prognostic studies in a systematic review and meta analysis is beneficial for health care professionals seeking the best evidence. Reviews of prognostic studies are much more challenging because of more variation in questions & designs, specific sources of bias & variation, and more complex statistical meta-analytical models. Several advances regarding the design, critical appraisal and statistical analysis in systematic reviews of prognostic studies, have recently been made. In this online medical course for researchers we discuss and practice how to define your review questions, how to search the literature, how to critically assess the methodological quality of primary prognostic studies, and which statistical methods to use for meta-analyses of the results of primary prognostic studies. The course consists of plenary presentations, small-group discussions, and computer exercises.
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
- Explain the rationale for performing a systematic review of prognostic studies
- List the key steps of a systematic review of prognostic studies
- Formulate a focused review question addressing a prognostic problem
- Systematically search the literature
- Critically appraise the evidence from primary prognostic studies
- Formulate the difficulties of meta-analysis of prognostic research
- Meta-analyses of performance of prognostic models
- Meta-analyses of the added value of specific prognostic factors
A guide to systematic review and meta-analysis of prediction model performance. BMJ 2017:356;i6460.
A framework for meta-analysis of prediction model studies with binary and time-to-event outcomes. Stat Methods Med Res 2018:0.
To enroll in this course, you need:
- A BSc or MSc degree in biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, medicine or veterinary medicine, or a comparable degree
- Access to the free software environment R
- We strongly recommend that you take part in our online course Prognostic Research, prior to enrolling in this course
- Sufficient proficiency in English reading and writing
Please note this is an online course, so you need access to an internet connection in order to be able to follow lectures, complete assignments and communicate with fellow participants. The only part of the course that is not online is the final examination. This course is offered through the MSc Epidemiology program developed by the UMC Utrecht and Utrecht University.