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Aust Fam Physician. 2006 Aug;35(8):635-8.

Interpreting and understanding meta-analysis graphs--a practical guide.

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Discipline of General Practice, The University of Adelaide, South Australia.


Ideally, clinical decision making ought to be based on the latest evidence available. However, to keep abreast with the continuously increasing number of publications in health research, a primary health care professional would need to read an insurmountable number of articles every day covered in more than 13 million references and over 4800 biomedical and health journals in Medline alone. With the view to address this challenge, the systematic review method was developed. This article provides a practical guide for appraising systematic reviews for relevance to clinical practice and interpreting meta-analysis graphs as part of quantitative systematic reviews.

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