Introduction to Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Organised by

Ulster University


Dr Peter Taylor




Ulster University
Cromore Road


View in Google Maps  (BT521SA)


Dr Orla McBride


The morning will focus on systematic reviewing. Systematic reviews will first be defined and contrasted with other review methodologies (e.g. narrative reviews, meta-synthesis). Next, the process of conducting a systematic review, with an emphasis on best practice, will be outlined. Steps including generating a research question, literature searching and screening, and risk of bias assessment, will be covered.

The afternoon will then focus on the use of meta-analysis to statistical aggregate effect sizes as part of a review. The principles of meta-analysis, including different models (random vs. fixed-effects; heterogeneity) will be covered. Attendees will gain experience of implementing meta-analysis in R, primarily using the “meta” package. Participants will be shown how to evaluate heterogeneity and test putative moderators of effect size.

The concept of publication bias and how it can be evaluated will also be introduced. Whilst the information covered will be applicable to a wide range of fields within the social and medical sciences, examples will focus on the area of clinical psychology and mental health. More advanced topics in this area, including network meta-analysis and individual patient data meta-analysis, will be briefly mentioned but not covered in any detail.

No prior knowledge or experience of conducting systematic reviews will be required. For the section on meta-analysis, some basic familiarity with using R and R studio will be beneficial (e.g. navigating R studio, setting up and editing R script files).  Various online tutorials to R exist, for example,


Course fees:

Student: £110 (more than one course £99)

Educational/charitable sector: £165 (more than one course £148.50)

Government/commercial sector:  £200 (more than one course £180)

10% discount will be given where the booking is for more than one short course. 


Attendance: 9:30am-4:30pm daily


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Student discount available. Multiple course booking available

Website and registration


Northern Ireland


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