Systematic Reviews und Meta-Analyses

Systematic Review Unit

Staying on top of the medical literature is a constant challenge for researchers and physicians. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses can help synthesize medical knowledge and make it more easily accessible and usable for practicing clinicians. Members of the Departments of General Practice, Medical Statistics, and Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine of the University Medical Center Göttingen have an interest in systematic reviewing and possess expertise in this field.


  • To support researchers and clinicians interested in conducting a systematic review or meta-analysis from a methodological perspective
  • To apply for third-party funding for systematic reviews and meta-analyses
  • To conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses for other organisations, where appropriate
  • To conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses for publication, for example in the Cochrane Library

Members of the Systematic Review Unit

The Systematic Review Unit was founded in 2010 by Prof. Jean-Francois Chenot (General Practice), PD Dr. Sebastian Straube (Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine) and Prof. Tim Friede (Medical Statistics). Sebastian Straube is on the editorial board of the Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group of the Cochrane Collaboration and on the editorial boards of the journals ISRN Pain and ISRN Obesity. Furthermore, Dr Straube is 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.



Univ.-Prof. Dr. Tim Friede

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Junior-Prof. Dr. Tim Mathes

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Systematic reviews and meta-analyses authored by members of the Systematic Review Unit


  • 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.
  • Huang A, Komukai S, Friede T, Hattori S (2021). Using clinical trial registries to inform Copas selection model for publication bias in meta-analysis. Research Synthesis Methods 12: 658-673. DOI: 10.1002/jrsm.1506
  • 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 [Open Access]
  • 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 [Open Access]


  • 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. [Abstract]
  • Röver C (2020) Bayesian random-effects meta-analysis using the bayesmeta R package. Journal of Statistical Software 93: 1–51. [Open Access]
  • 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. [Open access]
  • Günhan BK, Röver C, Friede T (2020) Random-effects meta-analysis of few studies involving rare events. Research Synthesis Methods 11: 74–90. [Open Access]


  • 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. [Full text]
  • 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. [Full text]
  • 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. [Open Access]
  • Seide SE, Röver C, Friede T (2019) Likelihood-based meta-analysis with few studies: Empirical and simulation studies. BMC Medical Research Methodology 19: 16. [Open Access]


  • Röver C, Friede T (2018) Contribution to the discussion of "When should meta-analysis avoid making hidden normality assumptions?": A Bayesian perspective. Biometrical Journal 60: 1068-1070.
  • 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. [Full text]
  • Günhan BK, Friede T, Held L (2018) A design-by-treatment interaction model for network meta-analysis with integrated nested Laplace approximations. Research Synthesis Methods 9:179–194. [Open Access]


  • A. Emmert, C. Straube, J. Büntzel, C. Röver. (2017) Robotic versus thoracoscopic lung resection: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 96(35):e7633, 2017. [Abstract]
  • Balcarek P, Rehn S, Howells NR, Eldridge JD, Kita K, Dejour D, Nelitz M, Harden M, Friede T (2017) Results of Trochleoplasty versus Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction in Patellar Instability caused by severe Trochlear Dysplasia - A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 25: 3869-3877. [Abstract]
  • Bergau L, Tichelbäcker T, Kessel B, Lüthje L, Fischer TH, Friede T, Zabel M (2017) Predictors of mortality and ICD shock therapy in primary prophylactic ICD patients - A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE 12(10): e0186387. [Open Access]
  • Friede T, Röver C, Wandel S, Neuenschwander B (2017) Meta-analysis of two studies in the presence of heterogeneity with applications in rare diseases. Biometrical Journal 59: 658–671. [Abstract]
  • Friede T, Röver C, Wandel S, Neuenschwander B (2017) Meta-analysis of few small studies in orphan diseases. Research Synthesis Methods 8: 79–91. [Open Access]
  • Bodnar, O., Link, A., Arendacká, B., Possolo, A., and Elster, C. (2017) Bayesian estimation in random effects meta-analysis using a non-informative prior. Statist. Med., 36: 378–399. [Abstract]


  • Ondra T, Dmitrienko A, Friede T, Graf A, Miller F, Stallard N, Posch M (2016) Methods for identification and confirmation of targeted subgroups in clinical trials: A systematic review. Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics 26: 99-119. [Open access]
  • Straube S, Harden M, Schröder H, Arendacka B, Fan X, Moore A, Friede T (2016) Back schools for the treatment of chronic low back pain: possibility of benefit but no convincing evidence after 47 years of research – systematic review and meta-analysis. Pain 157: 2160–2172.
  • Conen D, Arendacka B, Röver C, Bergau L, Munoz P, Wijers S, Sticherling C, Zabel M, Friede T (2016) Gender differences in appropriate shocks and mortality among patients with primary prophylactic implantable cardioverter-defibrillators: Systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 11(9):e0162756.
  • Unkel S, Röver C, Stallard N, Benda N, Posch M, Zohar S, Friede T (2016): Systematic reviews in paediatric multiple sclerosis and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease exemplify shortcomings in methods used to evaluate therapies in rare conditions, Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 11:16. [Abstract]


  • Straube S, Werny B, Friede T (2015) A systematic review identifies shortcomings in the reporting of crossover trials in chronic painful conditions. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 68: 1496-1503.
  • Röver C, Nicholas R, Straube S, Friede T (2015) Changing EDSS progression in placebo cohorts in relapsing MS: A systematic review and meta-regression. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0137052.
  • Röver C, Nicholas R, Straube S, Friede T (2015) Changing EDSS progression in placebo cohorts in relapsing MS: A systematic review and meta-regression. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0137052.
  • Stellmann JP, Stürner KH, Young KL, Siemonsen S, Friede T, Heesen C (2015) Regression to the mean and predictors of MRI disease activity in RRMS placebo cohorts - is there a place for baseline-to-treatment studies in MS? PLoS ONE 10(2): e0116559. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116559.


  • Wolf I, Friede T, Hallier E, Straube S (2014) Work-related outcomes in randomised placebo-controlled pain trials: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 9: 25.
  • Chenot JF, Weber P, Friede T (2014) Efficacy of Ambroxol lozenges for sore throat: a meta-analysis. BMC Family Practice 15: 45.


  • Steinvorth SM, Röver C, Schneider S, Nicholas R, Straube S, Friede T (2013) Explaining temporal trends in annualized relapse rates in placebo groups of randomized controlled trials in relapsing multiple sclerosis: Systematic review and meta-regression. Multiple Sclerosis Journal 19: 1580-1586.
  • Patel S, Friede T, Froud R, Evans DW, Underwood M (2013) Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of clinical prediction rules for physical therapy in low back pain. Spine 38: 762–769.


  • Heesen M, Klöhr S, Rossaint R, Walters M, Straube S, van de Velde M. Insertion of an intrathecal catheter following accidental dural puncture: a meta-analysis. Int J Obstet Anesth. 2012 Dec 4. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Heesen M, Klör S, Rossaint R, Straube S, Van de Velde M. Labour epidural analgesia and anti-infectious management of the neonate: a meta-analysis. J Perinat Med. 2012 Jun 24. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Seidler A, Jähnichen S, Hegewald J, Fishta A, Krug O, Rüter L, Strik C, Hallier E, Straube S.Systematic review and quantification of respiratory cancer risk for occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2012 Oct 19. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Rochow N, Raja P, Straube S, Voigt M. Misclassification of newborns due to systematic error in plotting birth weight percentile values. Pediatrics. 2012 Aug;130(2):e347-51.
  • Heesen M, Klöhr S, Hofmann T, Rossaint R, Devroe S, Straube S, VAN DE Velde M. Maternal and foetal effects of remifentanil for general anaesthesia in parturients undergoing caesarean section: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2013 Jan;57(1):29-36.
  • Derry S, Straube S, Moore RA, Hancock H, Collins SL. Intracutaneous or subcutaneous sterile water injection compared with blinded controls for pain management in labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jan 18;1:CD009107.
  • Patel S, Friede T, Froud R, Evans DW, Underwood M (2012) Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of clinical prediction rules for physical therapy in low back pain. Spine (in press).
  • Nicholas R, Straube S, Schmidli H, Pfeiffer S, Friede T (2012) Time-patterns of annualized relapse rates in randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials in relapsing multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal 18: 1287-1293.


  • Thapar A, Lane T, Nicholas R, Friede T, Ellis M, Assenheim J, Franklin IJ, Davies AH (2011) Systematic review of sonographic CCSVI findings in multiple sclerosis. Phlebology 26: 319-25. [Abstract].
  • Nicholas R, Straube S, Schmidli H, Schneider S, Friede T (2011) Trends in annualized relapse rates in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis and consequences for clinical trial design. Multiple Sclerosis Journal 2011; 17: 1211-1217. [Abstract].
  • Straube S, Moore RA, Paine J, Derry S, Phillips CJ, Hallier E, McQuay HJ. (2011) Interference with work in fibromyalgia – effect of treatment with pregabalin and relation to pain response. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 12: 125.
  • Holzinger F, Chenot JF. (2011) Ivy for acute upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2011;382789.


  • Korb B, Scherer M, Chenot JF. (2010) Steroid as adjuvant therapy for acute pharyngitis in ambulatory patients: a systematic review. Ann Fam Med 2010; 8: 58-63.
  • Nicholas R, Young C, Friede T (2010) Bladder symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis: a review of pathophysiology and management. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety: 905-915.
  • Straube S, Moore RA, Derry S, Hallier E, McQuay HJ. (2010) Vitamin D and chronic pain in immigrant and ethnic minority patients - investigation of the relationship and comparison with native Western populations. Int J Endocrinol. 2010: 753075.
  • Straube S, Derry S, McQuay HJ, Moore RA. (2010) Pregabalin in fibromyalgia: meta-analysis of efficacy and safety from company clinical trial reports. Rheumatology (Oxford). 49: 706-15.
  • Straube S, Derry S, McQuay HJ, Moore RA. (2010) Vitamin D for the treatment of chronic painful conditions in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (1): CD007771.
  • Moore RA, Straube S, Paine J, Phillips CJ, Derry S, McQuay HJ. (2010) Fibromyalgia: Moderate and substantial pain intensity reduction predicts improvement in other outcomes and substantial quality of life gain. Pain. 149: 360-4.
  • Straube S, Derry S, Moore RA, Wiffen PJ, McQuay HJ. (2010) Single dose oral gabapentin for acute postoperative pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (5): CD008183.
  • Straube S, Derry S, Moore RA, McQuay HJ. (2010) Cervico-thoracic or lumbar sympathectomy for neuropathic pain and complex regional pain syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (7): CD002918.
  • Moore RA, Straube S, Derry S, McQuay HJ. (2010) Chronic low back pain analgesic studies – A methodological minefield. Pain. 149: 431-4.
  • Straube S, Derry S, Moore RA, Paine J, McQuay HJ. (2010) Pregabalin in fibromyalgia - responder analysis from individual patient data. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 11: 150.


  • Nicholas RS, Friede T, Hollis S, Young CA (2009) Anticholinergics for urinary symptoms in multiple sclerosis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD004193. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004193.
  • Straube S, Moore RA, Derry S, McQuay HJ. (2009) Vitamin D and chronic pain. Pain. 141: 10-3.
  • Straube S, Tramer MR, Moore RA, Derry S, McQuay HJ. (2009) Mortality with upper gastrointestinal bleeding and perforation: effects of time and NSAID use. BMC Gastroenterol. 9: 41
  • Moore RA, Straube S, Wiffen P, Derry S, McQuay HJ. (2009) Pregabalin for acute and chronic pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (3): CD007076.
  • Marret E, Elia N, Dahl JB, McQuay HJ, Møiniche S, Moore RA, Straube S, Tramer MR. (2009) Susceptibility to fraud in systematic reviews: lessons from the Reuben case. Anesthesiology. 111: 1279-89.

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