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Systematic Reviews in Health Care: Meta-analysis in Context, Second Edition

Matthias Egger, George Davey Smith, and Douglas G. Altman (editors)
Publisher: BMJ Books
Copyright: 2001
ISBN-13: 978-0-7279-1488-0
Pages: 487; hardcover
Price: $99.00
Supplements:Sample chapters and datasets

Comment from the Stata technical group

Meta-analysis as a statistical and scientific tool has grown immensely in popularity over the last decade as a way to systematically present new research results in the proper context, given all previous related work. This text is a collection of articles that serve to educate the reader on all the relevant terminology and to bring the reader up to speed on the continuously growing methodology in meta-analysis. By using methods of meta-analysis, researchers may decrease bias and increase the precision of their treatment effects, thus reducing the probability of type I and type II errors and, in the process, making more timely the acceptance of new treatments.

The text begins with some history behind the rise in popularity of meta-analysis and a glossary of the relevant terminology, and then it proceeds with several chapters of contributed articles concerned primarily with detecting and eliminating bias in systematic reviews. The next part of the text deals with analyzing variability within and between studies, followed by three chapters on the importance of systematic reviews. Computer software (in particular a chapter on meta-analysis in Stata) is covered next, followed by several contributed articles on the use of systematic reviews in practice. The book then closes with a status report on the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization of health-care professionals, physicians, researchers, and consumers devoted to maintaining and promoting the accessibility of systematic reviews.

Stata datasets and additional materials used in the text are available from the book’s website:

Table of contents

1 Rationale, potentials, and promise of systematic reviews
Matthias Egger, George Davey Smith, Keith O'Rourke
Part I: Systematic reviews of controlled trials
2 Principles of and procedures for systematic reviews
Matthias Egger, George Davey Smith
3 Problems and limitations in conducting systematic reviews
Matthias Egger, Kay Dickersin, George Davey Smith
4 Identifying randomised trials
Carol Lefebvre, Michael J. Clarke
5 Assessing the quality of randomised controlled trials
Peter Jüni, Douglas G. Altman, Matthias Egger
6 Obtaining individual patient data from randomised controlled trials
Michael J. Clarke, Lesley A. Stewart
7 Assessing the quality of reports of systematic reviews: the QUOROM statement compared to other tools
Beverley Shea, Catherine Dubé, David Moher
Part II: Investigating variability within and between studies
8 Going beyond the grand mean: subgroup analysis in meta-analysis of randomised trials
George Davey Smith, Matthias Egger
9 Why and how sources of heterogeneity should be investigated
Simon G. Thompson
10 Analysing the relationship between treatment benefit and underlying risk: precautions and recommendations
Stephen J. Sharp
11 Investigating and dealing with publication and other biases
Jonathan A. C. Sterne, Matthias Egger, George Davey Smith
Part III:
Systematic reviews of observational studies
12 Systematic reviews of observational studies
Matthias Egger, George Davey Smith, Martin Schneider
13 Systematic reviews of evaluations of prognostic variables
Douglas G. Altman
14 Systematic reviews of evaluations of diagnostic and screening tests
Jonathan J. Deeks
Part IV: Statistical methods and computer software
15 Statistical methods for examining heterogeneity and combining results from several studies in meta-analysis
Jonathan J. Deeks, Douglas G. Altman, Michael J. Bradburn
16 Effect measures for meta-analysis of trials with binary outcomes
Jonathan J Deeks, Douglas G. Altman
17 Meta-analysis software
Jonathan A. C. Sterne, Matthias Egger, Alexander J. Sutton
18 Meta-analysis in StataTM
Jonathan A. C. Sterne, Michael J. Bradburn, Matthias Egger
Part V: Using systematic reviews in practice
19 Applying the results of systematic reviews at the bedside
Finlay A. McAlister
20 Numbers needed to treat derived from meta-analyses: pitfalls and cautions
Shah Ebrahim
21 Using systematic reviews in clinical guideline development
Martin Eccles, Nick Freemantle, James Mason
22 Using systematic reviews for evidence based policy making
J. A. Muir Gray
23 Using systematic reviews for economic evaluation
Miranda Mugford
24 Using systematic reviews and registers of ongoing trials for scientific and ethical trial design, monitoring, and reporting
Iain Chalmers
Part VI: The Cochrane Collaboration
25 The Cochrane Collaboration in the 20th century
Gerd Antes, Andrew D. Oxman for the Cochrane Collaboration
26 The Cochrane Collaboration in the 21st century: ten challenges and one reason why they must be met
Andrew D. Oxman
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