Meta-analysis refers to methods for the systematic review of a set of individual studies (either from the aggregate data or the individual patient data) with the aim to quantitatively combine their results. This has become a popular approach to attempt to answer questions when the results from individual studies have not been definitive. This chapter will discuss meta-analyses and highlight issues that need critical assessment before the results of the meta-analysis are accepted. Some of these critical issues include: publication bias, sampling bias, and study heterogeneity.


Publication Bias Individual Study Evidence Base Medicine Individual Patient Data Negative Study 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen P. Glasser
    • 1
  • Sue Duval
    • 2
  1. 1.Univesity of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AlabamaBirmingham
  2. 2.Division of Epidemiology & Community HealthUniversity of Minnesota School of Public HealthMinneapolis

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