What We Do

We conduct research in, and teach the principles of, research synthesis and evidence contextualization. Research synthesis refers to our activities in systematic review of published literature and data from those studies. Often this involves meta-analysis, which is an analytic method for combining datasets from multiple studies. Evidence contextualization refers to our work to determine the appropriate types of evidence to use in decision and economic modeling.

CESH serves as one of 13 Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) across the country. EPCs produce effectiveness reviews at the request of the federal government on medications, devices, and other health care services with the goal of helping patients, physicians, and policymakers make better decisions about treatments.

The Center includes statisticians, clinicians, epidemiologists, librarians, computer scientists, and health services researchersExamples of our past work include systematic reviews of cancer care, chronic kidney disease, bariatric surgery and limb prostheses. Our team offers several free software programs to simplify collecting, organizing and analyzing the data. We also have written extensively on methods to improve the processes of systematic reviews and meta-analysis of experimental and observational studies as well as diagnostic tests. In fact, members of our Center were on the panels that wrote the Institute of Medicine’s guides to Systematic Reviews and to Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Our research and training programs provide learning opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate scholars, as well as faculty and healthcare professionals within and outside the Brown community. The courses that follow are an example of that work, and are part of an effort to improve awareness of and competency in methods of evidence synthesis.