Introduction of Meta-analysis: What, Why and Who
Meta-analysis is a method of review that summarises the results of previous
research of the same particular issue in a systematic and quantitative way. A
meta-analysis that properly combines results from different studies will average out
differences caused by random variation and produce a more precise estimate of the
true effect. It may also detect and investigate heterogeneity among studies thus providing
a deeper understanding of clinical dilemmas and guidance on resolving them.
in this way a meta-analysis will be a better guide to practice than an individual study.
Meta-analysis also has its limitations as it is largely dependent on the quality of published
data and requires careful planning and execution of a valid protocol, together
with cautious interpretation of the results.
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