Systematic review and meta-analysis methodology
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Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are being increasingly used to summarize medical literature and identify areas in which research is needed. Systematic reviews limit bias with the use of a reproducible scientific process to search the literature and evaluate the quality of the individual studies. If possible the results are statistically combined into a meta-analysis in which the data are weighted and pooled to produce an estimate of effect. This article aims to provide the reader with a practical overview of systematic review and meta-analysis methodology, with a focus on the process of performing a review and the related issues at each step.
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