ShortCourse
Description
Comparative effectiveness research is a rigorous evaluation of the impact of different options that are available for treating a given medical condition for a particular set of patients. Its purpose is to assist consumers, clinicians, purchasers, and policy makers to make the informed decisions that will improve health care at both the individual and population levels. Systematic reviews are considered the standard practice to inform evidence-based decision making of medical technology. A systematic literature review includes the identification, selection, appraisal, and summary of evidence that can answer a particular research question. Results of several similar studies identified with a systematic literature review can be quantitatively synthesized by means of meta-analysis to obtain a pooled estimate of the outcome of interest and the evaluation of heterogeneity. In its basic form, a meta-analysis typically involves comparisons of two interventions for one particular endpoint, but can be expanded with multiple treatment comparisons or outcomes. This course highlights and expounds upon six key and interrelated areas: 1) comparative effectiveness research, 2) impetus for systematic reviews and meta-analysis, 3) basic steps to perform a systematic literature review, 4) statistical methods of combining data, 5) reporting of results, and 6) appraisal and use of meta-analytic reports. The material is motivated by instructive and real examples. Interactive exercises are an integral part of this short course.