Research Synthesis Methods

Retrieving treatment and control proportions from incomplete summary data in meta‐analysis

Journal Article

One of the vexing problems often encountered when combining the results of independent studies in a meta‐analysis is that the data provided in individual studies are incomplete. Some studies may provide only a risk difference and others only an odds ratio. Of course, if the proportions for treatment and control are reported, then the meta‐analyst can carry out a variety of analyses, such as fixed or random effect estimates. Excluding studies with incomplete data carries a risk and should be avoided if it is possible to retrieve the original proportions. Inclusion criteria in some meta‐analyses may require that studies contain full data. This requirement can be relaxed if the original data can be retrieved. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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