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Study Design and Statistics

Margaret A. Winker

and Stephen J. Lurie

Meta-analysis is a systematic pooling of the results of 2 or more studies to address a question of interest or hypothesis. According to Moher and Olkin, [Meta-analyses] provide a systematic and explicit method for synthesizing evidence, a quantitative overall estimate (and confidence intervals) derived from the individual studies, and early evidence as to the effectiveness of treatments, thus reducing the need for continued study. They also can address questions in specific subgroups that individual studies may not have examined. A meta-analysis quantitatively summarizes the evidence regarding a treatment, procedure, or association. It is a more statistically powerful test of the

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