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BMJ. 1994 Sep 24;309(6957):789-92.

Meta-analysis and its problems.

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1
Institute of Psychiatry, London.

Abstract

Including all relevant material--good, bad, and indifferent--in meta-analysis admits the subjective judgments that meta-analysis was designed to avoid. Several problems arise in meta-analysis: regressions are often non-linear; effects are often multivariate rather than univariate; coverage can be restricted; bad studies may be included; the data summarised may not be homogeneous; grouping different causal factors may lead to meaningless estimates of effects; and the theory-directed approach may obscure discrepancies. Meta-analysis may not be the one best method for studying the diversity of fields for which it has been used.

PMID:
7950571
PMCID:
PMC2541015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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