Conference Agenda

Session Overview
CEC afternoon 03
Monday, 17/June/2019:
1:30pm - 4:30pm

Location: Room 104

ID: 192 / CEC afternoon 03: 1
CEC session
Topics: Evidence-Based Practice
Keywords: Information retrieval, non-randomized studies, search filters, epidemiological study designs

Searching for and classifying non-randomized studies

Maria-Inti Metzendorf

Cochrane Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders Group, Germany

Systematic reviews aim to synthesize the relevant literature as the basis for decision making. In many cases, evidence from non-randomized studies (NRS) might need to be included. NRS include a wide range of study types (e.g. controlled clinical trial, before-after study, cohort study), which are difficult to identify in the literature, as study design labels are not used consistently by authors and are not indexed reliably by bibliographic databases. It is important that information specialists supporting systematic reviews have a basic understanding of study designs in epidemiology and are informed about the applicability of currently available search filters for NRS.

1) The workshop will present an overview of existing epidemiological study designs and introduce a study classification algorithm. Examples on how study designs are reported in abstracts of journal articles will be provided.

2) Participants, who will be divided into small groups, will be given a classification exercise in which they have to classify abstracts of NRS included in Cochrane Reviews. The results will then be compiled and potential study designs discussed. We will then access the fulltext of the studies in order to verify our assumptions.

3) When searching bibliographic databases for NRS, it is usually necessary to decide whether existing search filters can be used. For this purpose, the results of a recent validation study of search filters will be presented. Search filter selection as well as alternative search techniques will be discussed

Learning Outcomes : By the end of this session, participants will be able to : distinguish and describe the most important study designs used in epidemiology; identify the terms used to describe the study design in biomedical abstracts; evaluate the applicability of currently available study design filters for NRS; describe the challenges of searching for NRS.

Level : Intermediate/Advanced

Target audience : Medical librarians and information specialists supporting systematic reviews including study designs beyond randomized controlled trials.

Preparation for the session : Yes

Biography and Bibliography
Maria-Inti Metzendorf is a Graduate Information Scientist and has been working for the Cochrane Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders Group since 2014. Before joining Cochrane, she worked at the Medical Library of the University of Heidelberg for six years where she set up a systematic review service. In addition to her regular Cochrane editing and searching tasks, Maria-Inti delivers information retrieval workshops to medical students, clinicians, researchers, guideline developers and information professionals and has cooperated as external expert on two information retrieval methods projects by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) in Germany. Since 2016 she is a member of the Cochrane Information Specialists Executive.