Featured Workshop on Risk of Bias: What Is It? How Do I Assess For It? What Do I Use To Assess?

Join us for a new workshop on Risk of Bias:

Thursday, November 10, from noon to 1 p.m., online

Register for Risk of Bias: What is it? How do I assess for it? What do I use to assess?*

Assessing for Risk of Bias (RoB) is one of the expected steps when conducting a systematic review, but it can also be used to self-assess study conduct as practiced or as written in your proposal or protocol. Risk of bias assessments are important in research to determine flaws in the design, conduct, or analysis of randomized trials and other types of studies that could lead to an overestimation or underestimation of the true effect of the intervention or exposure.

This workshop serves as an introduction to RoB topics and will help you:

  1. Define risk of bias
  2. Compare and contrast RoB and critical appraisal
  3. List and describe RoB domains
  4. Locate RoB assessment tools recommended by the Cochrane Collaboration

RoB is not the same as quality appraisal or critical appraisal in that the latter focuses on how closely the researchers adhered to the highest possible standard when conducting their study. Unfortunately, researchers tend not to practice self-assessment from the study development through execution and manuscript writing. Critical appraisal of a protocol can highlight substandard practice; reviewing the appropriate RoB guidance documentation and assessing a protocol, or even a few components of the protocol, for RoB can prevent the introduction of it into a study.

Of course, there are times when a study will deviate from the highest possible standard but that does not necessarily mean that the potential for bias will greatly impact the effect of the intervention results. Sham surgery is one example where everyone can be blinded, but there are steps researchers should be aware of to reduce the risk of bias.

If you are unable to attend, this scheduled session can also be repeated on request. Request a customized instruction session for your course, group, or department.

*HSLS classes are open to University of Pittsburgh faculty, staff, and students, as well as UPMC residents and fellows. A valid email address is required to register.