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Stat Med. 2000 Nov 30;19(22):3127-31.

A simple method for converting an odds ratio to effect size for use in meta-analysis.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, King's College, London, 5th floor, Capital House, 42 Weston Street, London SE1 3QD, UK.


A systematic review may encompass both odds ratios and mean differences in continuous outcomes. A separate meta-analysis of each type of outcome results in loss of information and may be misleading. It is shown that a ln(odds ratio) can be converted to effect size by dividing by 1.81. The validity of effect size, the estimate of interest divided by the residual standard deviation, depends on comparable variation across studies. If researchers routinely report residual standard deviation, any subsequent review can combine both odds ratios and effect sizes in a single meta-analysis when this is justified.

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