Service group "Systematic Reviews und Meta-Analyses"

Department of Medical Statistics

The number of scientific publications is increasing rapidly every year. This poses a great challenge for clinicians and scientists who want to obtain comprehensive and up-to-date information on a medical topic. It is therefore necessary to systematically record, critically evaluate and, if possible, summarise individual studies on the same topic. This can be done in the form of evidence syntheses, such as systematic reviews. The service group "Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses" supports clinicians and scientists in planning, conducting and analysis these evidence syntheses. With regard to the financing model and cost accounting, we follow the procedure in the scientific service unit "Medical Biometry and Statistical Bioinformatics".



  • Methodological advice and support for interested clinicians and scientists who would like to conduct a systematic review, meta-analysis, guideline or other form of quantitative evidence synthesis (e.g. evidence-based patient information, overview) on an issue in their field.
  • Acquisition of third-party funding for the preparation of systematic reviews/meta-analyses (e.g. funding priority Clinical Studies / Systematic Reviews of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and the preparation of guidelines (e.g. Innovation Fund of the GB-A).
  • Commissions for Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) e.g. of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWIG) or Medical Service of the National Association of Health Insurance Funds (MDS).
  • Preparation of evidence reports and methodological support for guidelines in accordance with AWMF regulations.
  • Participation in Cochrane reviews

Establishment and members of the Service group "Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses"

The service group was founded as a Systematic Review Unit in 2010 by Prof. Jean-Francois Chenot (General Medicine), PD Dr. Sebastian Straube (Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine) and Prof. Tim Friede (Medical Statistics). Sebastian Straube is a member of the editorial boards of the Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group of the Cochrane Collaboration and the journals ISRN Pain and ISRN Obesity. Sebastian Straube is also on the committee of the Special Interest Group on Systematic Reviews in Pain Relief of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Tim Friede is a reviewer in the Multiple Sclerosis Group of the Cochrane Collaboration. In 2021, Prof. Tim Mathes (Medical Statistics) took over the leadership of the Systematic Review Unit and expanded it into a service group. In the field of evidence based medicine, Tim Mathes is department spokesman for the methodology department of the EBM network (German Network for Evidence-Based Medicine), Cochrane member and Senior (Protocol) Editor at BMC Systematic Reviews.



Junior-Prof. Dr. Tim Mathes

Porträt von Junior-Prof. Dr. Tim Mathes

contact information


Key publications of the last three years


  • Mathes T, Prediger B, Walgenbach M, Siegel R (2021) Mesh fixation techniques in primary ventral or incisional hernia repair. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 5: Cd011563.
  • Friedrich S, Groß S, König IR, Engelhardt S, Bahls M, Heinz J, Huber C, Kaderali L, Kelm M, Leha A, Rühl J, Schaller J, Scherer C, Vollmer M, Seidler T, Friede T (2021). Applications of artificial intelligence/machine learning approaches in cardiovascular medicine: a systematic review with recommendations. European Heart Journal - Digital Health 2: 424-436. DOI: 10.1093/ehjdh/ztab054.
  • Straube S, Heinz J, Landsvogt P, Friede T (2021). Recall, precision, and coverage of literature searches in systematic reviews in occupational medicine: an overview of Cochrane Reviews. GMS Med Inform Biom Epidemiol 17(1). DOI: 10.3205/mibe000216.
  • Khan MS, Friede T, Anker SD, Butler J (2021). Effect of Carillon Mitral Contour System on patient-reported outcomes in functional mitral regurgitation: an individual participant data meta-analysis. ESC Heart Failure 8: 1885–1891.
  • Stegherr R, Beyersmann J, Jehl V, Rufibach K, Leverkus F, Schmoor C, Friede T on behalf of the SAVVY project group (2021) Survival analysis for AdVerse events with VarYing follow-up times (SAVVY): Rationale and statistical concept of a meta-analytic study. Biometrical Journal 63: 650-670.
  • Hee SW, Mistry D, Friede T, Lamb SE, Stallard N, Underwood M, Patel S (2021) Identification of subgroup effect with an individual participant data meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials of three different types of therapist-delivered care in low back pain. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 22:191 doi: 10.1186/s12891-021-04028-8.
  • Mandrik OL, Severens JLH, Bardach A, Ghabri S, Hamel C, Mathes T, et al. (2021) Critical Appraisal of Systematic Reviews With Costs and Cost-Effectiveness Outcomes: An ISPOR Good Practices Task Force Report. Value Health. 24: 463-72.73. DOI: 10.1002/jrsm.1506.
  • S3-Leitlinie Adulte Weichgewebesarkome. AWMF Registernummer 032 - 044OL.
  • Straube S, Heinz J, Landsvogt P, Friede T (2021) Recall, precision, and coverage of literature searches in systematic reviews in occupational medicine: an overview of Cochrane Reviews. GMS Med Inform Biom Epidemiol 17(1). DOI: 10.3205/mibe000216.


  • NGAL Meta-Analysis Investigator Group, Albert C, Zapf A, Haase M, Röver C, Pickering JW, Albert A, Bellomo R, Breidthardt T, Camou F, Chen Z, Chocron S, Cruz D, de Geus HR, Devarajan P, Di Somma S, Doi K, Endre ZH, Garcia-Alvarez M, Hjortrup PB, Hur M, Karaolanis G, Kavalci C, Kim H, Lentini P, Liebetrau C, Lipcsey M, Mårtensson J, Müller C, Nanas S, Nickolas TL, Pipili C, Ronco C, Rosa-Diez GJ, Ralib A, Soto K, Braun-Dullaeus RC, Heinz J, Haase-Fielitz A (2020) Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin Measured on Clinical Laboratory Platforms for the Prediction of Acute Kidney Injury and the Associated Need for Dialysis Therapy: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. American Journal of Kidney Diseases 76: 826-841.
  • Rombey T, Lochner V, Puljak L, Könsgen N, Mathes T, Pieper D (2020) Epidemiology and reporting characteristics of non-Cochrane updates of systematic reviews: A cross-sectional study. Research synthesis methods.
  • Prediger B, Mathes T, Polus S, Glatt A, Bühn S, Schiermeier S, et al. (2020) A systematic review and time-response meta-analysis of the optimal timing of elective caesarean sections for best maternal and neonatal health outcomes. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 20: 395.
  • Weise A, Büchter R, Pieper D, Mathes T (2020) Assessing context suitability (generalizability, external validity, applicability or transferability) of findings in evidence syntheses in healthcare-An integrative review of methodological guidance. Research synthesis methods. 11: 760-79.
  • Desmoid Tumor Working Group. (2020) The management of desmoid tumours: A joint global consensus-based guideline approach for adult and paediatric patients. Eur J Cancer. 127: 96-107.
  • Heinz J, Röver C, Furaijat G, Kaußner Y, Hummers E, Debray TPA, Hay AD, Heytens S, Vik I, Little P, Moore M, Stuart B, Wagenlehner F, Kronenberg A, Ferry S, Monsen T, Lindbaek M, Friede T, Gágyor I (2020) Strategies to reduce antibiotic use in women with uncomplicated urinary tract infection in primary care: Protocol of a systematic review and meta-analysis including individual patient data. BMJ Open 10: e035883.


  • Mathes T, Pieper D, Morche J, Polus S, Jaschinski T, Eikermann M (2019) Pay for performance for hospitals. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (7).
  • Mathes T, Pieper D (2019) An algorithm for the classification of study designs to assess diagnostic, prognostic and predictive test accuracy in systematic reviews. Systematic Reviews. 8: 226.
  • Buentzel J, Heinz J, Bleckmann A, Bauer C, Röver C, Bohnenberger H, Saha S, Hinterthaner M, Baraki H, Kutschka I, Emmert A. (2019) Sarcopenia as Prognostic Factor in Lung Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Anticancer Res. 39:4603-4612.
  • Nicholas RS, Han E, Raffel J, Chataway J, Friede T (2019) Over three decades study populations in progressive multiple sclerosis have become older and more disabled, but have lower on-trial progression rates: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 43 randomized placebo-controlled trials. Multiple Sclerosis Journal 25: 1462-1471.
  • Andreas S, Röver C, Heinz J, Straube S, Watz H, Friede T (2019) Decline of COPD exacerbations in clinical trials over two decades - a systematic review and meta-regression. Respiratory Research 20:186.
  • Gast A, Mathes T. Medication adherence influencing factors—an (updated) overview of systematic reviews. Systematic Reviews. 2019;8(1):112.
  • Luhnen M, Prediger B, Neugebauer EAM, Mathes T (2019) Systematic reviews of health economic evaluations: A structured analysis of characteristics and methods applied. Research synthesis methods.


  • Mathes T, Pieper D (2018) Study design classification of registry-based studies in systematic reviews. J Clin Epidemiol. 93: 84-87.
  • Gibbons C, Pagnini F, Friede T, Young CA (2018) Treatment of fatigue in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 1,1 CD011005. 2 Jan. 2018.

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