• English
  • Español

Introduction to meta-analysis 4: Dealing with heterogeneity

Topic category Statistical methods and meta-analysis
Date and Location
Date: 
Thursday 20 October 2011 - 14:00 - 15:30
Location: 
Methods Group
Methods Group: 
Statistical Methods Group
Contact person
Contact person: 
Georgia Salanti (Contact this person)
Facilitators
First nameLast nameAffiliation and Country
First name: 
Georgia
Last name: 
Salanti
Affiliation and Country: 
University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece
First name: 
Anna
Last name: 
Chaimani
Affiliation and Country: 
University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece
Target audience
Target audience: 
review authors
Is your workshop restricted to a specific audience or open to all Colloquium participants?: 
Open
Level of knowledge required: 
Intermediate
Type of workshop
Type of workshop: 
Training
Abstract text
Abstract: 
Objective:
The Cochrane Statistics Methods Group has developed a series of workshops addressing statistical guidelines as formulated in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. This workshop will provide review authors with the knowledge to understand and investigate variability across studies in a meta-analysis, and to recognise the limitations of the methods available.

Description:
This training workshop will address approaches to dealing with between-study variability, or heterogeneity, in the results of a series of clinical trials. We first will discuss some potential sources of between-study variability, and overview some methods for identifying whether heterogeneity poses a problem in a particular set of studies. We then will focus on issues related to dealing with study variability once it has been identified. In particular, we will discuss the decision whether or not to combine results; the choice between fixed and random-effects analyses; and the use of subgroup analyses (with a brief mention of meta-regression). Discussion will be supplemented with practical examples from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.