FEB 03, 2016 12:00 PM PST

Evaluating the results of animal studies by means of Meta Analysis

  • Assistant Professor, SYRCLE and Anesthesiology, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands
      Carlijn Hooijmans obtained her biomedical science degree in 2004, and her PhD concerning the impact of nutritional lipids and vascular factors in experimental Alzheimer's disease in 2008.
      Currently, she is assistant Professor at the Radboudumc in Nijmegen the Netherlands; department of Anesthesiology, and SYstematic Review Centre for Laboratory animal Experimentation (SYRCLE) in Nijmegen the Netherlands (a unique and innovative research centre focusing on the improvement of scientific quality and transparency of laboratory animal science).
      Her main research interest involves the translation of results from animal studies to clinical practice. I She is responsible for developing methodology and subsequently tools for conducting systematic reviews and meta-analysis in preclinical research.
      She also runs and contributes to workshops on Systematic reviews and meta-analysis and supervise scientists who want to conduct these reviews. In addition I am involved in teaching and developing teaching programs in the FELASA Category C course and various master program regarding experimental design, systematic reviews and meta analyses.


    Animal studies still play a crucial role in research aimed at improving human health care. When performing animal studies, the results and their interpretation are not always straightforward. No single study is executed perfectly in all steps, there are several possible sources of bias, and many of the animal studies are replicates of studies conducted previously. Meta-analysis (MA) can be used to combine the results of individual studies and may lead to more reliable conclusions and a reduction of unnecessary duplication of animal studies. In addition, due to the more explorative nature of animal studies as compared to clinical trials, MA of animal studies have a greater potential in exploring possible sources of heterogeneity.
    In this presentation the main principles and practices for MA of experimental animal studies will be discussed.

    Learning objectives:

    • The participant knows what a MA is, and what the added values are.
    • The participant knows what the limitation of MA of animal studies are.
    • The participant knows how to interpret the results of a MA

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