Dr. Sonal Jain
Abstract: Meta-analysis is a statistical tool used to systematically and quantitatively estimate the pooled effect of earlierindividual research studies to obtain conclusions about that research subject. The outcomes from a meta-analysis are more precise estimate of the effect of treatment or risk factor for disease, than any individual study. One of the potential advantages of conducting meta-analysis is to obtain an accurate and quantitative review of a large, complex and generally controversial topic in literature. Meticulously conducted meta-analyses are potential tools in evidence-based medicine. The small clinical trials (small sample size) might have inconclusive results on individual basis however, while combining these trials met-analysis increases the statistical power and thus more precise estimate of effect size.Moreover, meta-analysis is also useful for exploring sources of publication bias and quantifying between-study heterogeneity.
Keywords: meta-analysis, systematic review, evidence-based medicine, effect size, forest plot, publication bias, heterogeneity