The Evidence Synthesis Working Group focuses on the use of evidence synthesis, or systematic reviews, in the design, monitoring and interpretation of trials.
The Working Group is preparing a series of papers to help trialists and others to make best use of evidence synthesis, including those based on the central collection and re-analysis of participant level data. It will develop clear recommendations for how evidence synthesis can be used in the design, conduct, and analysis of trials with a view to increasing the use of these methods in practice and reducing the waste in research that can arise when proper notice is not paid to existing evidence. “Position papers” will bring together work on the use of evidence synthesis in trial design, conduct and analysis in general, and compare methods for using evidence synthesis when estimating sample size requirements for new trials, using the Corticosteroid Randomisation After Significant Head injury (CRASH) trial as a worked example.
Members of the Working Group are also collaborating to adapt the established principles for systematic reviews of trials to apply them elsewhere in the process of translational research, including within animal studies, evaluations of diagnostic tests and of prognostic models, and research to identify biomarkers and surrogate endpoints that might be used in trials.