Assessing the risk of within-study selective reporting in a systematic review which includes non-randomised studies (NRS)

Shea B1
1Cochrane Non-Randomised Studies Methods Group, Canada


The workshop aims to improve awareness of key issues about the risk of withih study selective reporting when including NRS in systematic reviews of interventions.


This workshop (and another) is aimed at review authors intending to include non-randomised studies (NRS) in Cochrane systematic reviews and editors involved with such reviews. The Collaboration recommends that review authors consider and justify whether or not to include NRS for all research questions. Decisions to include NRS may arise when there are inadequate or no RCTs but where the question addressed by the review is a considered a priority. Evaluations of public health and non-pharmacological interventions may have these characteristics. Participants will mainly work in small groups to apply a NRSMG checklist to a small number of NRS, highlighting important considerations, focusing on the various ways in which multiple findings may be generated from which a selection of findings may be reported. Selective reporting and failure to report will be contrasted. The availability of information to detect selective reporting, and varying amounts and quality of information across primary studies, are problems affecting both NRS vs. RCTs. These problems will be discussed, contrasting the implications for systematic reviews of NRS and RCTs.