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Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis$
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Julia H. Littell, Jacqueline Corcoran, and Vijayan Pillai

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326543.001.0001

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Assessing Bias and Variations in Effects

Assessing Bias and Variations in Effects

(p.111) 6 Assessing Bias and Variations in Effects
Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis

Julia H. Littell

Jacqueline Corcoran

Vijayan Pillai

Oxford University Press

There are several ways to detect publication bias and assess its influence in a meta-analysis. This chapter identifies out-dated methods and describes current approaches. It discusses cumulative meta-analysis and subgroup analysis. Moderator analysis and meta-regression are used to explore variations in effect sizes due to methodological features and other variables in the primary studies. Sensitivity analysis is used to discover the extent to which results of meta-analysis are robust for outliers, and for decisions and assumptions made during the analysis. Finally, statistical power analysis is an important tool for planning and evaluating meta-analyses.

Keywords:   publication bias, subgroup analysis, moderator analysis, meta-regression, sensitivity analysis

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