Journal article

Bench-to-bedside review: Avoiding pitfalls in critical care meta-analysis-funnel plots, risk estimates, types of heterogeneity, baseline risk and the ecologic fallacy

Michael C Reade, Anthony Delaney, Michael J Bailey, Derek C Angus

CRITICAL CARE | BMC | Published : 2008

Abstract

Meta-analysis can be a powerful tool for demonstrating the applicability of a concept beyond the context of individual clinical trials and observational studies, including exploration of effects across different subgroups. Meta-analysis avoids Simpson's paradox, in which a consistent effect in constituent trials is reversed when results are simply pooled. Meta-analysis in critical care medicine is made more complicated, however, by the heterogeneous nature of critically ill patients and the contexts within which they are treated. Failure to properly adjust for this heterogeneity risks missing important subgroup effects in, for example, the interaction of treatment with varying levels of base..

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University of Melbourne Researchers