Evidence Synthesis for Determining Efficacy and Harm: Identifying a Quality Signal in the Growing Noise

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Date and Time

Tuesday, 4 August 2020
08:30 – 12:30


E105 (RAI Amsterdam)


Additional Fee Required

Event/Session Summary

Evidence Synthesis for Determining Efficacy and Harm: Identifying a Quality Signal in the Growing Noise

Half Day SIG Satellite Symposium
Hosted By: Methodology Evidence Synthesis and Implementation SIG (MESISIG)

How do we make sense of the increasing weight of evidence? More and more studies published, more and more systematic reviews, more and more commentary. We introduce the basic methods of systematic review and evidence synthesis, and focus on developments in novel methods and current thinking about quality and bias. And finally, in a practical workshop activity we explore how to develop the review question, select appropriate methods, and identify resources to help. 

In a two-part symposium we will introduce attendees to the related concepts and methods of evidence synthesis with a focus on quality control and relevance to practice. Systematic review has become popular, but good systematic review remains rare. We present a consideration of how to read and critically appraise a review, how to attempt the authoring of a review, the main methodological mechanics to pay attention to, how to judge the quality of reviews, and how to judge their relevance to practice and policy making.

In the first part, international experts, many involved with the SIG and with the Cochrane Collaboration, will present on topics specific to making sense of the evidence in pain. The four speakers will focus on how review decisions are made and the consequence of the decisions, rather than on the results alone.

In the second part, all of the speakers will facilitate a mini workshop session focused on title determination using a PICO tool, on quality determination using GRADE, and on the implications of findings using a Cochrane Implications summary.

Preliminary Agenda


Symposium Begins


Opening Remarks
Welcome, Introductions, and Background from the MESISIG Chair
Christopher Eccleston, PhD (United Kingdom)

Quality, Quality & Quality
Emma Fisher, BSc(Hons), PhD (United Kingdom)

Dealing with Complexity in Reviews 
Neil O’Connell, PhD (United Kingdom)

Dealing with Harms and Non-Trial Data
Sebastian Straube, BM BCh, MA, DPhil (Canada)

Getting Closer to Personal: Considering Patient Individual Differences in Reviews

Katelynn Boerner, BSc (Hons), PhD (Canada)


Morning Coffee Break

PICO Workshop: Asking the right questions in the right way

In small groups we will work on determining a systematic review question, how to phrase it, what considerations are needed to establish a workable method of title determination, how to determine appropriate endpoints, and how ensure that a review is accurate, comprehensive and transparent, and how judge the quality of the evidence.


Closing Remarks


Registration Rates

All rates listed in USD

 Registration Type

Rate (USD)

 IASP Member




 IASP Trainee Member


 IASP Member from a Developing


*The Developing Country rate is available to residents of countries with a gross national income of less than $15,000,
as defined by the World Bank.