Answered By: Michael Bailou Huang
Last Updated: Sep 26, 2014     Views: 54

A meta-analysis consists of studies using a quantitative method of combining the results of independent studies (usually drawn from the published literature) and synthesizing summaries and conclusions which may be used to evaluate therapeutic effectiveness, plan new studies, etc. It is often an overview of clinical trials. It is usually called a meta-analysis by the author or sponsoring body and should be differentiated from reviews of literature.

There is no publication type in MeSH for "systematic reviews." (These articles are generally indexed with the publication type Review, and/or Meta-Analysis.) Therefore, when limiting to article type "systematic reviews" a filter is used which searches for variations of the term, "systematic review" in the title and abstract. It also includes publication types and free-text searching for Meta-Analysis, Guidelines, and Consensus Development Conference. The term, "evidence-based medicine" is included although this filter does not attempt to provide comprehensive retrieval in that area.

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