Analysis with small number of studies

Diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) reviews: a pathway


This lesson is part of an introductory series developed by Cochrane Screening & Diagnostic Test Methods Group to support authors in the production of DTA reviews. In this lesson, the focus is on the analysis with small number of studies. A full list of currently available or planned lessons is available here.

After using this resource, you should be able to...
  • be aware of problems that can occur when fitting hierarchical meta-analytic models
  • know approaches that can be applied when problems occur
  • identify an appropriate strategy in a given context
Author information: 
Takwoingi, Yemisi; Leeflang, Mariska; Davenport, Clare; Deeks, Jon

Cite as: Takwoingi Y, Leeflang MM, Davenport CF, Deeks JJ. Analysis with a small number of studies. Lesson 7.6: Cochrane Collaboration DTA Online Learning Materials. The Cochrane Collaboration; February 2015. Videocast (22 slides: 19 minutes, sound, colour). Available at

Session compiled and narrated by Yemisi Takwoingi with technical support from Anne Walker and Paul Good, University of Birmingham. With grateful acknowledgement of the many members of the Cochrane DTA Reviews Working Group upon which the materials, in part, are based. Funded by the UN NIHR and the Cochrane Collaboration, with support from the University of Birmingham and the University of Amsterdam.