1. Course Aim To present evidence synthesis as an important method in pharmacoepidemiology that may bring together all relevant information for a research question and to describe the sub-topic of “living” evidence synthesis for which training is rarely provided to pharmacoepidemiologists. Living evidence synthesis methods provides an innovative and scalable solution to the resounding imperative for robust evidence in real time. The approach combines rigor with rapidity as living review methodology continuously identifies, critically appraises, and incorporates data as it becomes available to produce up to date and robust evidence to facilitate decision making process. The concept of living evidence synthesis and related outputs, such as living guidelines and recommendations, are of value to health stakeholders (researchers, decision makers, funders, publishers, and evidence users) who are interested in evidence ecosystems that seamlessly and sustainably connect evidence generation with implementation.
The objectives of this pre-conference advanced course are to present an overview of evidence synthesis and the importance for pharmacoepidemiology, to describe the ‘why and when needed’ and ‘how to apply’ living evidence synthesis methods including discussion of practical examples, and finally, to explore and discuss next steps for the future.
2. Requisites Statement a) From entry level b) No pre-course materials need to be accessed or reviewed
3. Course Objectives 1. Deliver an overview of evidence synthesis methodologies and the importance for pharmacoepidemiology 2. Outline living evidence synthesis methods and describe a real-world, applied example. 3. Discuss the future of evidence synthesis, particularly applications of living methods in healthcare industry research.
4. Syllabus Outline Session 1: A brief overview of evidence synthesis Will cover the basics of evidence synthesis objectives, various types, and methodological differences. The importance for pharmacoepidemiology and key limitations will be highlighted. Session 2: Living Evidence Methods Will outline the methodology of living evidence reviews, including why and how. Key methodological considerations such as types of topics suited to a living review, update frequency for searching and screening new evidence, when and how to include this newly identified evidence, methods for study quality evaluation and analytical methods for synthesis will be presented. Session 2.1: Applied living evidence methods To further illustrate the key methodological considerations discussed above, the following practical example will be discussed: • The COVID-NMA initiative: A living mapping and living systematic review of Covid-19 trials
Session 3: The future of living evidence synthesis Will consider the future of living evidence synthesis methods, how attendees might apply evidence synthesis to their own pharmacoepidemiology research settings (examples of current use case scenarios – signal safety and efficacy detection, OMICS detection), as well as limitations and gaps for improvement.
Session 4: Panel Discussion This pre-conference advanced course will end with questions from the audience, and a panel discussion.