Providing policy advice
a. To develop general policy advice for Cochrane on all statistical issues relevant to systematic reviews of healthcare interventions.
Many members of the SMG were involved in expanding and updating (and effectively rewriting) the 1995 book 'Systematic Reviews' (ed Chalmers and Altman) as Systematic Reviews in Health Care (Egger et al 2001a). In particular, the statistical methods used in Cochrane software were detailed by Deeks et al (2001). Other books on meta-analysis produced by the SMG members are Sutton et al (2000) and Whitehead (2002).
b. To take responsibility for statistics-orientated chapters of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.
Over recent years many members of the SMG have been involved in completely rewriting Section 9 of the Reviewers' Handbook 'Analysing data and undertaking meta-analyses'.