ACROBAT-NRSi (A Cochrane Risk Of Bias Assessment Tool: for Non-Randomized Studies of Interventions) for non-clinical community based studies: a participatory workshop using a worked example from public health

Tags: Workshop
Thomson H1, Sterne J2, Higgins J2
1Cochrane Public Health Group, University of Glasgow, 2University of Bristol


1. To facilitate learning through experience about the content and application of ACROBAT-NRSi when applied to public health intervention studies.

2. To gather input on the ease of application and appropriateness of applying ACROBAT-NRSi to public health intervention studies.

Description: The ACROBAT-NRSi tool, launched in Autumn 2014, is an important development to promote rigour in the assessment of risk of bias in non-randomised studies. The guidance for the tool has a clinical focus and, as yet, there has been only limited exploration of how the tool can be applied usefully to the types of studies often included in public health reviews.

The workshop will start with a 15-minute introduction to the tool, including the key considerations required at protocol level, and the seven domains. Workshop participants will work in small groups or pairs to apply the tool on a study of housing improvement included in a published Cochrane review. Participants will be provided with suggested protocol level considerations such as co-interventions, etc. The focus of the participatory work will be on comprehension and applicability of the tool for non-clinical studies of community interventions, rather than level of agreement between assessors. Feedback from participants is a key component of this workshop, and participants will be required to record queries and points of clarification needed to enable application of the tool in this example.