Other Statistical and Methodologic Issues in Meta-Analysis

Diana B. Petitti

in Meta-Analysis, Decision Analysis, and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Second edition

Published in print November 1999 | ISBN: 9780195133646
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199863761 | DOI:

Series: Monographs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Other Statistical and Methodologic Issues in Meta-Analysis

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This chapter addresses only systematic review and meta-analysis. It describes statistical methods for meta-analysis of effects measured on a continuous scale and statistical methods to derive a summary estimate of the trend of effect with increasing level of exposure. It identifies three methods for estimating a summary statistic in meta-analysis that should be avoided. The chapter explains publication bias, how it arises, and how it can affect study validity. The use of the funnel plot to identify publication is explained in more detail along with the limitations of the funnel plot. The chapter ends with a description of cumulative meta-analysis and a brief description of meta-analysis of individual level data.

Keywords: systematic review; meta-analysis; continuous measures; publication bias; funnel plot; cumulative meta-analysis

Chapter.  7370 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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