Suny Downstate; Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis
Suny Downstate’s explanation of why it is important to consider all studies addressing a specific question.Key Concepts addressed:
- 2-9 Reviews of fair comparisons should be systematic
- 2-12 Relative measures of effects can be misleading
Important medical questions are typically studied more than once, often by different research teams in different locations.
A systematic review is a comprehensive survey of a topic in which all of the primary studies of the highest level of evidence have been systematically identified, appraised and then summarized according to an explicit and reproducible methodology.
A meta-analysis is a survey in which the results of all of the included studies are similar enough statistically that the results are combined and analyzed as if they were one study. In general a good systematic review or meta-analysis will be a better guide to practice than an individual article.
Suny Downstate Medical Center, EBM Resources.