Introduction to meta-analysis


A systematic review seeks to synthesise the results of multiple studies together to answer a particular question. One of the methods available to do this is meta-analysis. The slidecast presentation is an introduction to the principles of meta-analysis, including when it may or may not be appropriate, and how to interpret forest plots.

The presentation has been translated into several languages other than English. Select an available language from the list at the top right of this page.

After using this resource, you should be able to...
  • Recognize the difference between a systematic review and a meta-analysis
  • Outline the rationale for conducting a meta-analysis
  • Decide when is not appropriate to conduct a meta-analysis
  • Describe the steps in a meta-analysis
  • Explain the elements of a forest plot
  • Interpret and present the results of meta-analyses in a systematic review

Introduction to meta-analysis - slidecast

Author information: 
Cumpston, Miranda

Approved by the Cochrane Methods Board on 23 September 2011.

Compiled by Miranda Cumpston, based on materials by Sally Hopewell, Julian Higgins, the Cochrane Statistical Methods Group and the Dutch Cochrane Centre