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Systematic reviewing support at PenCLAHRC

Posted on December 8th 2015

Our Evidence Synthesis Team (EST) support work across all of PenCLAHRC’s objectives. This includes providing methodological advice and support to the PenCLAHRC community through their fortnightly Search and Review clinics. Established in May 2012, these clinics provide an opportunity for academics, health care professionals and patients to meet with a systematic reviewer or an information specialist.

Since their introduction, the team have helped over 300 individuals from across the South West peninsula. Advice is available within this half hour slot without the need for an evidence synthesis expert to be formally involved in a piece of work. This means that the skills and experience of the Evidence Synthesis Team can be shared widely and efficiently, increasing the capacity of the PenCLAHRC community to perform good quality systematic reviews. Some of the most common requests are for help with designing searches, writing protocols and choosing appropriate methods for critically appraising studies.

Demand remains high and the team have recently recruited Simon Briscoe fellow member of the Information Specialist Team to help with the clinics. Simon said ‘I am delighted to be contributing to this really worthwhile endeavour to build expertise and skills within the PenCLAHRC community’. Another recent innovation is the creation of screencasts by Alison Bethel, to help with some of the trickier practical aspects of systematic reviewing. You can view examples on YouTube here and here, with more planned in the future. 

Sessions take place in the South Cloisters building, St Luke’s Campus, University of Exeter Medical School, but will also run once a month at the ITTC Building, Plymouth Science Park, from January 2016. In the future we hope to introduce some virtual slots via Skype to enable people from other parts of the peninsula to access the support without the need to travel – watch this space!

For more information, or to book a half hour slot, please click here.

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