POSTPONED: 2019 Cochrane Methods Symposium: Developing robust review protocols with increasingly diverse evidence

Update on 30 October 2019: The 2019 Methods Symposium was cancelled as the 2019 Cochrane Colloquium was cancelled. Full details can be found here. We are now considering other options for the 2019 Methods Symposium and updates will be shared when they are avaliable.

Co-chairs: Professor Julian Higgins and Dr Joanne McKenzie

Cochrane reviews are becoming increasingly complex as methods evolve, as data sources become more diverse, and as we increasingly recognize that health outcomes are the products of many interlinked elements. Cochrane pioneered the publication of protocols before undertaking systematic reviews, partly to help ensure that the many decisions we make along the way are objective and not based on the results of the identified studies.

This year’s Methods Symposium will examine whether our protocols continue to provide the road map we need to navigate a modern Cochrane review. We will explore how much can reasonably be anticipated about the decisions we need to make. Speakers will address several aspects of pre-specification from diverse methodological perspectives, showcasing updated material in the new Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Version 6). Issues for discussion include deciding what syntheses are to be performed, deciding which data to extract and analyse, and dealing with issues of complexity in interventions and study contexts. We will discuss the extent to which issues can be overcome with careful review planning, and aim to determine whether refinements are needed in our current guidance for writing protocols. 

There is no fee for attending this event. All are welcome, but attendees must register and spaces are limited.

To register, please log-in to your Colloquium account and go to the Additional Registration page, select the Symposium, and select "Save" at the bottom.

The full programme of speakers and their presentations is listed below, along with links to the speakers biographies. Slides may be available following the Symposium, at the discretion of the speakers.

2019 Cochrane Methods Symposium: Developing robust review protocols with increasingly diverse evidence
Time and date: Monday 21 October, 2019, 14:00-17:00 (CLST) 
Location: Salón Manquehue (first floor), CasaPiedra, Avda. San Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer 5600, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile





Welcome to the 2019 Methods Symposium

Julian Higgins, University of Bristol, UK (Senior Handbook Editor)

Session 1: Pre-specification vs iteration?
 Chair: Julian Higgins, University of Bristol, UK 


Talk: General issues in pre-specification 

James Thomas, EPPI-Centre, University College London, UK


Talk: Issues to consider when including qualitative evidence 

Angela Harden, University of East London, UK 


Talk: Issues in inclusion of non-randomized studies 

Barnaby Reeves, University of Bristol, UK



Session 2: Planning the synthesis
ChairJoanne McKenzie, Monash University, Australia 


Talk: The notion of PICO for synthesis: planning the grouping of studies for meta-analyses and other syntheses

Sue Brennan, Monash University, Australia


Talk: The problem of multiplicity and the use of hierarchical selection rules

Matthew Page, Monash University, Australia


Talk: General issues in pre-specification of synthesis methods

Jonathan Sterne, University of Bristol, UK


Discussant: Issues in reviews of test accuracy

Yemisi Takwoingi, University of Birmingham, UK


Discussant: Issues for adverse effects

Daniela Junqueira, University of Alberta, Canada


Discussant: The role of network meta-analysis

Tianjing Li, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA; Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, USA


General discussion

Joanne McKenzie, Monash University, Australia 


Closing remarks / reflections

Cindy Farquhar, University of Auckland, New Zealand (Senior Network Editor, Abdomen and Endocrine Cochrane Network)