Reasons or excuses for avoiding meta-analysis in forest plots

Ioannidis, John P.; Patsopoulos, Nikolaos A.; Rothstein, Hannah R.
June 2008
BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);6/21/2008, Vol. 336 Issue 7658, p1413
Academic Journal
The article focuses on systematic reviews and meta-analysis. It explains that reviews often conclude that a meta-analysis would be an inappropriate measure and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of forest plots, a type of quantitative study. The methods of studying clinical heterogeneity are examined, including statistical models. The grouping of data and the difficulties involved with that process are explored and it is suggested that meta-analysis can be a useful means of analyzing data to understand moderator variables, boundary conditions, and generalisability.


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