Study of studies. An attempt to condense the results of several clinical trials.
Not to be confused with a systematic review of the literature.
Original data from all available studies are collected and analysed together as if they are one dataset this increases the power by the use of a larger sample size – also improves the estimate of effect size.
• wisdom of combining results from studies that differ in many respects
• “publication bias” – only positive results tend to get published – negative studies may not be available for inclusion