Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses of Psychological Interventions


Course Objective

In this course, the students learn how to conduct systematic reviews and
meta-analyses of randomized controlled studies in psychological and
educational sciences. We focus especially on systematic reviews of
psychological interventions for mental health problems. However, we also
teach students how to conduct meta-analyses of observational and
diagnostic studies.

Course Content

First, students will learn how to formulate an adequate research
question for a meta-analysis. Then, we will teach them how to conduct
literature searches in major bibliographical databases (PsycINFO,
PubMed, Embase, Cochrane database), the process of selecting studies,
and data extraction. The different methods of calculating effect sizes
will be explained, as well as random and fixed effects models in pooling
available effect sizes. We will also explain how to conduct subgroup
analyses, univariate and multivariate meta-regression analyses, and
tests for publication bias. The different software packages will be
illustrated. Each student will conduct a (small) meta-analysis as part
of this course.

Teaching Methods

Lectures as well as seminars.

Method of Assessment

Paper, written exam.


Cuijpers P (2016). Meta-analyses in mental health research; A practical
guide. Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit. Available free online at:

Target Audience

The course is meant for research master students, but PhD students and
early career researchers can also participate if they want to learn how
to do meta-analyses

General Information

Course Code P_MSYSREV
Credits 6 EC
Period P5
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator E. Karyotaki
Examiner prof. dr. W.J.M.J. Cuijpers
Teaching Staff prof. dr. W.J.M.J. Cuijpers
E. Karyotaki

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Practical