Postdam international consultation on meta-analysis. Postdam DEU, 1994/03.
Although they usually claim a very thorough search to retrieve every pertinent work, most meta-analyses published in English restrict their search to papers which were also published in English.
We reviewed all the meta-analyses printed from 1 January 1991 to 1 April 1993 in 8 medical journals published in English and selected those who stated linguistic restrictions for inclusion in the analysis.
The computerized search methods used in these meta-analyses were then duplicated looking specifically for publications written in the excluded languages.
Each meta-analysis was then redone with identical statistical tests to determine if its conclusions would have been different if the paper (s) absent only for linguistic reasons had been included.
A total of 36 meta-analyses of which 28 had language restrictions were identified.
One meta-analysis which concluded that selective decontamination of the digestive tract in intensive care units did not produce a significant change in mortality between treatment and control patients (OR 0.70 ; 95% CI 0.45-1.09) would have arrived at a different conclusion (OR 0.67 ; 95% CI 0.47-0.95) if a paper written in German in a Swiss journal had been included in the analysis.
Our study demonstrates that, in at least one out of 36 consecutive meta-analyses the exclusion of papers for linguistic reasons produced results different from those which would have been obtained if this exclusion criteria had not been used.
Mots-clés Pascal : Métaanalyse, Méthode statistique, Epidémiologie, Essai clinique, Biais
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Metaanalysis, Statistical method, Epidemiology, Clinical trial
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0149164
Code Inist : 002B28F. Création : 09/06/1995.