Exploratory or analytic meta-analysis : should we distinguish between them ? Discussion.
Postdam international consultation on meta-analysis. Postdam DEU, 1994/03.
Meta-analysis has been defined as a study and « statistical analysis which combines or integrates the results of several independent studies. » Included in this definition are other terms, such as systematic overviews, pooling data, pooling study results, and quantitative literature reviews.
Like any study, the questions being asked will influence the design and the method of analysis of the meta-analysis.
Since a meta-analysis is a study based on a literature review, it is inherently observational rather than experimental in nature.
This idea is supported by the fact that the meta-analyst has limited control over the availability of studies or the information collected and reported in the individual studies.
Meta-analysis has been applied to clinical trials and epidemiology.
At first glance the potential for bias appears greater in epidemiology than in clinical trials.
But this may depend on the question being asked.
If randomized clinical trials are limited to improving an estimate of effect or testing a hypothesis in a relatively homogeneous set of effect sizes, the clinical trial will tend to be less prone to bias than a comparable set of epidemiologic studies.
In this context, the issue of combinability may dominate the meta-analysis.
Mots-clés Pascal : Métaanalyse, Méthode statistique, Essai clinique, Epidémiologie
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Metaanalysis, Statistical method, Clinical trial, Epidemiology
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0149161
Code Inist : 002B28F. Création : 09/06/1995.