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Interested in RCTs and Meta-Analysis? This is for you!

Posted on May 1, 2013 by David Carroll

Learning Resources
random chairs

QMP Medical Statistics Tutorials: Tutorial 10: Randomised studies and Meta-Analysis [1]

What is it?

This is a tutorial that looks at the statistical basis of randomized controlled trials. It also looks at the theory behind meta-analyses and how to read a meta-analysis. I found the extra reading is really useful as an adjunct to the core tutorial. The one thing that made me laugh was the sponsorship of the additional educational resources but you can make up your own mind on that.

Who is it for?

I think it’s useful for anyone that is interested in randomized trials and evidence synthesis. The text might be daunting for those new to the field but the glossary [2] is a really useful tool provided. 

How long does it take and is it interesting?

The tutorial took me about 30 minutes and I think it was really interesting. I enjoy learning about this area so maybe I’m a little biased.

What do I think?

The resources are really great, I found the tutorial engaging but I feel that the text can be quite daunting for anyone new to the area.

The exercise questions are great but they would be much better if they had a text input or a MCQ type answer where appropriate. It will be incredibly tempting for you all to peek at the answers (try not to). This being said the answers go into wonderful detail and in themselves are a really useful teaching tool.

The clinical significance section was excellent and explained what a meta-analysis and blobbogram are really well. The tutorial was sure to outline the difference between statistical and clinical significance, which is important and sometimes overlooked.

The option of advanced reading was great; this ensured that this tutorial really catered for everyone.

I really looked forward to the evaluation at the end but unfortunately it appears to be another university specific part of the tutorials. Overall, I really liked this, great resource.

Link to the tutorial

References:

[1] Rachel Thompson, Mike Bennett, Ed Loughman. QMP Medical Statistics Tutorial: Randomised studies and meta-analysis [Internet]. University of New South Wales, Faculty of Medicine; 2008 [updated 15 March 2013; cited 1 May 2013]. Available from: http://web.med.unsw.edu.au/QMP/QMPTut10_2012/Tut10_Intro.htm

[2] Rachel Thompson, Mike Bennett, Ed Loughman. QMP Medical Statistics Tutorial: Glossary [Internet]. University of New South Wales, Faculty of Medicine; 2008 [updated 15 March 2013; cited 1 May 2013]. Available from: http://web.med.unsw.edu.au/QMP/Glossary/Glossary.htm

David Carroll

David Carroll

Medical Student, Queen's University Belfast. When I'm not a medical student, I do PharmAware (wwww.pharmaware.co.uk) and Medsin (www.medsin.org) too. I like science, epidemiology, EBM, global health, really bad jokes and cats. I'm predominantly found on twitter. Email me: carroll.davide@gmail.com View more posts from David

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