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Understanding, appraising and reporting systematic reviews that use individual participant data

Date and Location




Friday 20 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00


Methods Group and core training

Methods Group

Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis Methods Group
Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person

Claire Vale


Jayne Tierney
Lesley Stewart
Maroeska Rovers
Target audience

Target audience

Review authors and users of systematic reviews (including journal editors, peer reviewers, guideline developers)

Is your workshop restricted to a specific audience or open to all Colloquium participants?


Level of knowledge required

Type of workshop

Type of workshop

Abstract text


Objectives: Promote better understanding and appraisal of systematic reviews based on individual participant data (IPD), and highlight how improved reporting standards could help. Description: Systematic reviews are commonly based on data from publications or trial investigators, and can be limited by the availability and quality of data. Those based on IPD instead tend to be international, collaborative projects involving the central collection and re-analysis of original data from all relevant trials. This can bring about substantial improvements to the quality of data and analyses, providing more reliable and detailed results. Unsurprisingly then, IPD reviews are becoming increasingly widely used. However, collecting, checking, analysing and interpreting an IPD review is more complex than for a standard systematic review. Furthermore, some IPD meta-analyses are not systematic reviews, but represent pooling of IPD from selected studies. These issues can present difficulties for users (including healthcare professionals, guideline developers, policy-makers, journal editors and peer reviewers) to judge the quality of IPD reviews. This is further hampered by variable reporting. Based on real examples, this semi-interactive workshop will draw on current initiatives to promote better understanding and appraisal of IPD reviews, and improve their reporting through ongoing development of an extension to the PRISMA guidelines.