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Evidence Synthesis

This guide provides an introduction to evidence synthesis as it is understood in evidence-based practice. clinical research and healthcare policy arenas.

Quantitative Evidence Synthesis

A quantitative synthesis, or meta-analysis, uses statistical techniques to combine and analyze the results of multiple studies. The feasibility and sensibility of including a meta-analysis as part of your systematic review will depend on the data available.

Requirements for quantitative synthesis:

  • Clinical and methodological similarity between compared studies
  • Consistent study quality among compared studies
  • Statistical expertise from a review team member or consultant

What is Meta-Analysis

Examples of Meta-Analyses

Urquhart, O., Tampi, M. P., Pilcher, L., Slayton, R. L., Araujo, M., Fontana, M., Guzmán-Armstrong, S., Nascimento, M. M., Nový, B. B., Tinanoff, N., Weyant, R. J., Wolff, M. S., Young, D. A., Zero, D. T., Brignardello-Petersen, R., Banfield, L., Parikh, A., Joshi, G., & Carrasco-Labra, A. (2019). Nonrestorative Treatments for Caries: Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysisJournal of dental research98(1), 14–26.

McLenon, J., & Rogers, M. (2019). The fear of needles: A systematic review and meta-analysisJournal of advanced nursing75(1), 30–42.

Salluh, J. I., Wang, H., Schneider, E. B., Nagaraja, N., Yenokyan, G., Damluji, A., Serafim, R. B., & Stevens, R. D. (2015). Outcome of delirium in critically ill patients: systematic review and meta-analysisBMJ (Clinical research ed.)350, h2538.

Jim, H. S., Pustejovsky, J. E., Park, C. L., Danhauer, S. C., Sherman, A. C., Fitchett, G., Merluzzi, T. V., Munoz, A. R., George, L., Snyder, M. A., & Salsman, J. M. (2015). Religion, spirituality, and physical health in cancer patients: A meta-analysisCancer121(21), 3760–3768.

Henry, B. M., de Oliveira, M., Benoit, S., Plebani, M., & Lippi, G. (2020). Hematologic, biochemical and immune biomarker abnormalities associated with severe illness and mortality in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a meta-analysis. Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine58(7), 1021–1028.

Frauenknecht, J., Kirkham, K. R., Jacot-Guillarmod, A., & Albrecht, E. (2019). Analgesic impact of intra-operative opioids vs. opioid-free anaesthesia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Anaesthesia74(5), 651–662.