Masterclass on systematic reviews in cancer care, guidelines and research: Belfast, UK

This 5-day course will take participants through the key steps in preparing a systematic review of research in cancer that they can use to make decisions about treatment, guidelines or the design of new research. Each participant will bring a topic for a systematic review to the Masterclass, and this will form the basis of the problem-based learning approach that will be used throughout the course. 

Each day of the Masterclass will include one or two formal lectures from experts in the relevant topic area, as well as group discussions relating to that topic area, drawing on the knowledge of the expert. The group discussions will be a mixture of whole-group work, and smaller discussions in which participants will be divided into small parallel groups to tackle specific issues relating to their review questions. These small groups will be facilitated by experienced systematic reviewers from the Faculty, and will conclude with a plenary session in which one member of each small group will provide feedback on specific issues that were discussed about the reviews in their group.

The Masterclass will help participants to strengthen the design of the review they are interested in and learn generic skills that they can apply to other systematic reviews. These skills will include the following key features for any systematic review:

• Formulation of the question
• Choice of inclusion and exclusion criteria, and selection of outcomes
• Development and implementation of a search strategy
• Application of the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and appraisal of quality and risk of bias in potentially eligible studies
• Data extraction
• Planning and conduct of meta-analyses, including subgroup and sensitivity analyses
• Exploration of heterogeneity
• Drawing conclusions and discussing implications for practice and research

Apply by 20 March.

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