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Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: An overview with the help of R Software

Editor IJSMI


When a clinician wants to take a decision on a treatment, procedure or diagnosis with respect to a disease or condition, outcome from a single research may not be right or helpful. Systematic review [1] provides the clinician with the strongest evidence about the available treatment or procedure related to a particular disease by including the evidences from the research studies which are similar in nature with respect to the scope, objective and the inclusion criteria of the study. Systematic reviews are different from the normal review or literature review as the later will not include all the relevant studies with respect to the particular problem and hence the conclusion drawn from it are not valid and generalizable. Meta-Analysis [2] is a statistical tool helps us to combine the results from the studies under consideration and arrive at an aggregate value for the parameters under study such as odds ratio, survival rate etc. This paper provides an overview of systematic review and meta-analysis with the use of an illustrative example. Meta-analysis is carried out using the r statistical software package. 


Systematic review;meta-analysis;r software;metafor;PRISMA;PICOS;Forest plot;funnel plot;inclusion criteria;exclusion criteria

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3000/ijsmi.v3i1.7

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