Medical Biometry Research Systematic Reviews /…

Systematic Reviews / Meta-Analysis

M.Sc. Johannes Vey (Head of the working group)
M.Sc. Junior Sinclair Awounvo Awounvo
Prof. Dr. Meinhard Kieser
Tanja Proctor
M.Sc. Samuel Zimmermann

The working group "Systematic Reviews / Meta-Analysis" applies and develops statistical methods for evidence synthesis.

Systematic reviews provide an overview over a specific (medical) topic by systematically identifying and compiling results of multiple different research studies. They thus enable medical decision-making along the principles of evidence-based medicine.

Meta-analysis is a quantitative method that allows statistical synthesis of such research results. Applications of meta-analyses are highly diverse and range from the efficacy of specific (medical) interventions such as surgical procedures, drug therapies or diet changes, to diagnostic tools and prognostic models.

The research interest of our working group lies in methods for indirect comparisons, meta-analyses with biomarker subgroups and network meta-analyses with sparse networks. Research projects are often collaborations with other institutes on and off campus. 

Research interests:

  • Meta-Analysis and indirect comparisons for biomarker subgroups
  • Methods for indirect comparisons  
  • Network meta-analysis in sparse networks  


Examples for projects in the working group Systematic Reviews / Meta-Analysis

Participation in two Systematic Reviews of the Junior Research Group „Effects of physical activity and exercise on motor and cognitive performance in older adults“ with Dr. Schwenk. These systematic reviews and meta-analyses investigate two aspects of healthy aging. The Systematic Review (SR) EArly deals with prevention of infirmity that appears halfway through adult life. For this purpose, various sports and dietary interventions in this population group are searched, systematically processed and statistically summarized. The SR ENSuRE is concerned with whether intervention programs implemented through dietary changes or a specific nutritional program with elderly patients can slow down sarcopenia in old age. 

  • SR EArly (funding through BMBF 2020-2021) on the effect of physical activity and strength, balance ability, and falls in healthy adults aged 40-65 years: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
  • SR ENSuRE (funding through BMBF 2017-2019) to determine the effect of physical training and nutrition interventions on sarcopenia-associated outcomes.


Participation in Systematic Reviews of the Departement of Surgery of the University Medical Center Heidelberg, including systematic reviews regarding laproscopic and robot-assisted surgery. 

The use of robot-assisted surgery has made high precision operations in confined spaces possible. This development concerns interventions that can be performed in a minimally invasive manner. While the use of more complex robot-assisted surgery is not necessary for all kinds of surgery, it excels in complicated cases where improved mobility and visualization are crucial.


In cooperation with the working group "Systematic Reviews" of the Study Center of the German Society of Surgery (SDGC), we offer methodological consultations on statistical aspects of surgical reviews.

Projects in cooperation with Dr. Ronellenfitsch, University of Halle

  • Ongoing: A systematic review will consider preoperative chemoradiotherapy and preoperative chemotherapy compared with surgery without adjuvant therapy in adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction. These three treatment options will be analyzed with regard to their therapeutic success using individual patient data as well as aggregated data together in a network.


Schmidt M. W., Köppinger K.F., Fan C., Kowalewski K.-F., Schmidt L. P., Vey J., Proctor T., Probst P., Bintintan V. V., Müller-Stich B.-P., Nickel F. (2021): From Virtual Reality to the Operating Room in Robotic-assisted Surgery – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Skill Transfer and Predictability of Skill. BJS Open – accepted

Kowalewski K. F., Seifert L., Ali S., Schmidt M. W., Seide S., Haney C., Tapking C., Shamiyeh A., Kulu Y., Hackert T., MüllerStich B. P., Nickel F. (2021): Functional outcomes after laparoscopic versus robotic-assisted rectal resection: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Surgical Endoscopy,35/1:81-95,2021

Seide S. E., Jensen K., Kieser M. (2021): Utilizing radar graphs in the visualization of simulation and estimation results in network meta-analysis. Research Synthesis Methods,12/1:96-105,2021

Alberts I., Seide S. E., Mingels C., Bohn K. P., Shi K., Zacho H. D., Rominger A., Afshar-Oromieh A. (2021): Comparing the diagnostic performance of radiotracers in recurrent prostate cancer: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging - accepted

Obermaier M., Zimmermann J. B., Popp E., Weigand M. A., Weiterer S., Dinse-Lambracht A., Muth C.-M., Nußbaum B. L., Gräsner J.-T., Seewald S., Jensen K., Seide S. (2021): Automated mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation devices versus manual chest compressions in the treatment of cardiac arrest: Protocol of a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing machine to human. BMJ Open - accepted

Proctor T., Jensen K., Kieser M. (2020): Integrated evaluation of targeted and non-targeted therapies in a network meta-analysis. Biometrical Journal,62/3:777-789,2020

Sammani A., Kayvanpour E., Bosman L. P., Sedaghat-Hamedani F., Proctor T., Gi W.-T., Broezel A., Jensen K., Katus H. A., te Riele A. S., Meder B., Asselbergs F. W. (2020): Predicting sustained ventricular arrhythmias in Dilated Cardiomyopathy: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review ESC Heart Failure,7/4:1430-1441,2020

Seide S. E., Jensen K., Kieser M. (2020): A comparison of Bayesian and frequentist methods in random-effects network metaanalysis of binary data. Research Synthesis Methods,11/3:363-378,2020

Altan E., Seide S., Bayram I., Gizzi L., Ertan H., Röhrle O. (2020): A systematic review and meta-analysis on the longitudinal effects of unilateral knee extension exercise on muscle strength. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living,2:518148,2020

Frankenstein L., Seide S., Taeger T., Jensen K., Froehlich H., Clark A. L., Seiz M., Katus H., Nee P., Uhlmann L., Naci H., Atar D. (2020): Relative Efficacy of Spironolactone, Eplerenone, and cAnRenone in Chronic Heart failure. A systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Heart Failure