Systematic Literature Review and Meta-analysis

  • Jonathan R. Brestoff
  • Jan Van den Broeck


Many clinical decisions, risk assessments, and public health policy decisions depend on the results of epidemiologic studies. Very rarely, however, do all studies on a particular subject reach the same conclusion. Consequently, there is a need in epidemiology to synthesize differing study findings objectively. Two related approaches to synthesizing findings from multiple studies are the systematic literature review and the meta-analysis. The purposes of this chapter are to introduce each of these useful approaches, to highlight their assumptions and limitations, and to illuminate practical aspects of conducting your own systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses.


Ulcerative Colitis Publication Bias Forest Plot Systematic Literature Review Summary Estimate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Centre for International Health, Faculty of Medicine and DentistryUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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