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Primer: strengths and weaknesses of meta-analysis

Published in Nature Clinical Practice Rheumatology. 2008, vol. 4, no. 3, p. 146-52
Abstract Properly conducted meta-analyses that are based on systematic reviews of the literature allow the conclusive synthesis of accumulating scientific evidence. Systematic reviews, with or without meta-analyses, offer a more objective appraisal of the available evidence compared with traditional narrative reviews. Combining data from independent studies using meta-analytic methods can improve statistical precision, but cannot prevent bias as such. The validity of meta-analyses depends on the methodological quality of the included studies, the eligibility criteria used for the meta-analysis, and the various reporting biases. In this Review we examine the analytical strengths of, and the main problems encountered by, both systematic reviews and meta-analyses, focusing on how to best assess the validity of each for the practicing clinician.
Keywords Clinical Trials as TopicEvidence-Based MedicineHumansMeta-Analysis as TopicPublication BiasQuality ControlReview Literature as Topic
PMID: 18227829
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Research groups Mécanisme de l'inflammation articulaire (44)
La Médecine Périopératoire et l'anesthésie (70)
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FINCKH, Axel, TRAMER, Martin. Primer: strengths and weaknesses of meta-analysis. In: Nature Clinical Practice Rheumatology, 2008, vol. 4, n° 3, p. 146-52. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:1692

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Deposited on : 2009-05-22

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