PHVIT9550 Systematiske oversikter og metaanalyser Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Systematic reviews and metaanalyses
Ph.d.-program i helsevitenskap
5 stp.


Healthcare decisions for individual patients and for public health policies should be informed by the best available research evidence. The evidence comes from good reviews which is a state-of-the-art synthesis of current evidence on a given research question.Systematic reviews and meta-analyses play an important role in clinical guidelines, patient information, in clinical and political decision-making and in an evidence-based practice. A systematic review can also play an important role in a PhD Thesis by providing an overview of the thesis topic.

This course offers an overview of the use of systematic reviews, the method of systematic reviews, qualitative evidence synthesis (QES) and meta-analysis and how to critically appraise a systematic review or QES. The course will focus on systematic reviews of qualitative and quantitative studies, and will be partly organized as parallel sessions. The course will be run as a five day course over a period of three months.




On completion of the course, the PhD candidate has achieved the following learning outcomes, defined in terms of knowledge, skills, and general competence:


The PhD candidate:

  • is at the forefront of knowledge in how to write a protocol of a systematic review or qualitative evidence synthesis
  • understands the role of best evidence research in clinical and political decision-making


The PhD candidate can:

  • plan and write a protocol of a systematic review or qualitative evidence synthesis
  • formulate a focused research question
  • plan a literature search
  • conduct a systematic and explicit selection process of the available articles
  • assess the methodological quality of included articles
  • extract data from included studies and plan analyses
  • critically assess a systematic review

General competence

The PhD candidate can:

  • the principles of how to search for research literature 
  • the principles of how to run a meta-analysis or a synthesis of qualitative studies
  •  the principles of how to assess the quality of evidence by Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) or GRADE CERQual
  • the principles of how to conduct a systematic review

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Work and teaching methods consist of lectures, small group work and discussions, self-study, and practical exercises. The outcomes of the small group sessions are presented and discussed in plenary. Parallel sessions offer, teaching and small group work in critical assessment of included studies, analysis, and the quality of evidence within systematic reviews of qualitative or quantitative studies.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter


Vurdering og eksamen

Each candidate must plan and write a protocol of a systematic review based on a research question of their choice. The protocol must consist of all the elements of a systematic review, and be submitted no more than 6 months after the first day of the course. 

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen



Pass / Fail


One internal and one external examiner will assess the protocol submitted by all candidates.


This course is primarily aimed at PhD candidates admitted to the PhD Programme in Health Sciences but is also open to other applicants. Admission requirements are a completed hovedfag, master's degree (120 ECTS credits) or equivalent qualification.

The course can also be offered to students who have been admitted to the "Health Science Research Programme, 60 ECTS", by prior approval from the supervisor and based on given guidelines for the research programme.