Healthcare professionals from across Qatar recently convened at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) for a workshop aimed at finding out how to optimise the rigor and reliability of medical research.

The workshop focused on a branch of academic research called systematic review, whereby investigators synthesise and analyse large quantities of existing research on a particular subject in one paper. When performed correctly, systematic reviews in the medical field provide researchers, healthcare practitioners and policy makers with useful resources to quickly and efficiently gain an accurate understanding of a particular healthcare issue. They can then identify avenues for further research or implement new healthcare practices or policies to improve patient outcomes based on the available evidence.


In total, 44 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, researchers, educators and other healthcare professionals participated in the workshop, which was developed and implemented by the Institute for Population Health (IPH) under WCM-Q.

Dr Karima Chaabna, Population Health and Communication Specialist at IPH said systematic review actually gives a better evidence base for empirically grounded healthcare practice than individual studies.

There is one important caveat, however, which is that in order for a systematic review to be useful it must be conducted with absolute rigor and transparency. This workshop demonstrated how this can be achieved by following an established, high-quality methodology.’

Participants to the workshop first took part in a pre-assessment survey to identify their current knowledge of systematic review, before IPH Director Dr Sohaila Cheema and Dr Chaabna gave an introductory presentation of the subject.

Subsequent presentations and interactive activities demonstrated how to write a protocol for a systematic review, how to search and screen literature, how to systematically collect and extract data, how to assess the quality of studies and identify risks of bias, and how to synthesise and report a systematic review.

Dr Cheema said that by following the established methodology for critically synthesising existing studies and reporting their findings, participants will be able pursue their own systematic review projects. This will enable them to make valuable contributions to the ongoing process of continued improvement in healthcare and population health, for the benefit of patients and communities, both here in Qatar and beyond.

The workshop, which will be offered again in September, was accredited by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners-Accreditation Department (QCHP-AD) and by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).

For more information about Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, visit