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The University of Southampton
Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute

Review research and meta analysis

Meta-analysis refers to methods focused on contrasting, combining and analysing results from different studies, in the hope of identifying patterns among study results, sources of disagreement among those results, or other interesting relationships that may come to light in the context of multiple studies.

In its simplest form, this is done by identification of a common measure of effect size such as the relative risk, odds ratio, standardised difference, correlation coefficient or similar quantities. Whereas in the early phases of meta-analysis it was common to assume a homogenous effect measure model, it has become standard practice to allow for heterogeneity in various forms. Research focus on various models for dealing and coping with heterogeneity. Also, currently research focuses on niches such as the meta-analysis of diagnostic studies as well as meta-analysis of studies resulting in a regression model as study outcome.

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