Becker LA
Outline the strengths and limitations of different types of reviews, describe the steps of a valid meta-analysis, offer an introductory experience in conducting a systematic review, explain the Cochrane Collaboration and how to get involved in Cochrane Reviews. Content: Family Physicians are increasingly called upon to synthesize existing data to make evidence-based decisions, yet receive little training in the methods of systematic reviews. The Cochrane Collaboration Primary Health care Field Convener is calling for increased involvement of primary care researchers in Cochrane Reviews. The Collaboration has outlined a valid approach to conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses, which is recommended for those contributing to the Cochrane Library, but that applies to the production of any valid review. This workshop will begin with an introduction of the types of reviews, the strengths and limitations of systematic reviews, and a brief outline of the steps to conduct a systematic review/meta-analysis. Participants will then break into smaller groups with each group completing one or two steps of a sample Cochrane review (provided by the presenters) to gain hands-on experience and 'problem-solve' challenges that arise. Last, special considerations of the Cochrane Review process and information about getting involved with Cochrane will be presented. A resource manual will be provided to each participant containing workshop content, sample data sheets, and web-based resources for training and statistical software. Prerequisites: None. This workshop is intended as an introduction for those with little or no experience with meta-analysis methodology.