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Systematic Reviews and Essentials of Meta-Analysis

Code: MSP12_25     Acronym: MSP12_25

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Epidemiology

Instance: 2015/2016 - 2S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Clinical Epidemiology, Predictive Medicine and Public Health Department
Course/CS Responsible: Master Degree Course in Public Health

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MSP 8 Master Degree Public Health - Official Plan12 1 - 4 36 108

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Nuno Miguel Sousa Lunet

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 0,71
Theoretical and practical : 1,28
Laboratory Practice: 0,57
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 0,71
Nuno Miguel Sousa Lunet 0,71
Theoretical and practical Totals 1 1,28
Nuno Miguel Sousa Lunet 1,28
Laboratory Practice Totals 1 0,57
Nuno Miguel Sousa Lunet 0,57

Teaching language



Systematic reviews are becoming more frequent in the scientific literature, which contributes to an increase in the transparency and quality of literature reviews. The present curricular unit is expected to promote the acquisition of knowledge and the development of competences that are essential for interpretating and performing systematic reviews, namely: identification of potentially eligible studies in different sources and efficient management of the searches; assessment of the quality of the studies; data extraction from the original reports; different strategies for data synthesis. It will address the scientific basis of meta-analysis.

Learning outcomes and competences

At the end of the course the participants should be able to perform a critical appraisal of systematic reviews, and to conduct research using these methodologies.

Working method



Scope, potential and limitations of the techniques for systematic review and meta-analysis

Anatomy of a systematic review

Formatting of research questions and development of protocols for systematic reviews

Search in electronic databases and other strategies for identification of relevant literature

Bias in systematic review: typology and detection

Management of searches conducted using different sources

Data extraction and synthesis (meta-analysis and other methods)

Evaluation of the quality of studies included in the systematic review

Practical exercises

Mandatory literature

Higgins JPT, Green S (editors). ; Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.0.2 [updated September 2009]. The Cochrane Collaboration., 2009
Green S, Higgins J (editors). ; Glossary. Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions 4.2.5 [updated May 2005]., 2005 (Available from: http://www.cochrane.org/sites/default/files/uploads/glossary.pdf)

Teaching methods and learning activities

The curricular unit will include theoretical and theoretical-practical/practical sessions, and autonomous work, supervised by the teacher. It is expected to correspond to an amount of work equivalent to 4 ECTS.

It is estimated that the Curricular Unit requires a total of 108 hours of work from the student, from which 36 are contact hours, distributed as follows:

- Theoretical classes (T): 10 h

- Theoretical-practical classes (TP): 18 h

- Practical classes (laboratorial) (PL): 8 h

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Trabalho escrito 100,00
Total: 100,00

Eligibility for exams

Attendance of at least 75% of all classes.

Calculation formula of final grade

The evaluation will include a group assignment. It will be conducted in two steps, to be presented in different moments, and each will receive a classification between 0 and 20. The final classification will be the weighted average of the classification obtained in each step.

Classification improvement

Reappraisal of the assignments taking into account the teacher’s comments, similarly to the process of publication in peer-reviewed journals.
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