Scientific article

Primer: strengths and weaknesses of meta-analysis

Published inNature clinical practice rheumatology, vol. 4, no. 3, p. 146-152
Publication date2008

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.

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Publication Bias
  • Quality Control
  • Review Literature as Topic
Citation (ISO format)
FINCKH, Axel, TRAMER, Martin. Primer: strengths and weaknesses of meta-analysis. In: Nature clinical practice rheumatology, 2008, vol. 4, n° 3, p. 146–152. doi: 10.1038/ncprheum0732
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal1745-8382

Technical informations

Creation05/22/2009 5:29:00 PM
First validation05/22/2009 5:29:00 PM
Update time03/14/2023 3:05:24 PM
Status update03/14/2023 3:05:24 PM
Last indexation01/15/2024 6:28:10 PM
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