Sensitivity analysis in DTA reviews

This lesson is part of an introductory series developed by Cochrane Screening & Diagnostic Test Methods Group to support authors in the production of DTA reviews. A full list of currently available or planned lessons is available here.

This lesson explains what sensitivity analyses are. why they are undertaken, and what are the issues in a review which they can investigate. Examples are provided to illustrate where sensitivity analyses may be useful. The lesson also looks at the differences and similarities between sensitivity analyses and subgroup analyses.

After using this resource, you should be able to...
  • Understand what a sensitivity analyses are and how they are undertaken
  • Appropriately plan and undertake sensitivity analyses
  • Understand the implications of sensitivity analyses on review conclusions
  • Differentiate sensitivity analyses, subgroup analyses and investigations of heterogeneity

7.7 Sensitivity analysis in DTA reviews

Author information: 
Deeks, Jon; Takwoingi, Yemisi; Davenport, Clare; Leeflang, Mariska

Cite as: Deeks JJ, Takwoingi Y, Davenport CF, Leeflang MM. Sensitivity analysis. Lesson 7.7: Cochrane Collaboration DTA Online Learning Materials. The Cochrane Collaboration, September 2014. Videocast (28 slides, 25 minutes, sound, colour). Available at <>.

Session compiled and narrated by Jon Deeks with technical support from Anne Walker and Paul Good, University of Birmingham. With grateful acknowledgement of the many members of the Cochrane DTA Reviews Working Group upon which the materials, in part, are based. Funded by the UK NIHR and the Cochrane Collaboration, with support from the University of Birmingham and the University of Amsterdam.