Statistical methods for updating meta-analyses

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses generally require updating as new studies become available; this requires multiple, repeated meta-analyses. This increases the risk of attaining spurious statistical significance in each analysis. As updating of meta-analyses becomes both more common and more frequent there is an increasing risk that meta-analysis results may be misinterpreted, particularly if readers are unaware of the updating process. This webinar will consider several methods to address this problem when meta-analyses are repeatedly updated, which have been assessed using a formal simulation study, and by applying methods to a range of recently-updated systematic reviews in the Cochrane Library. Given these findings it will consider whether, and how, these methods could be used in Cochrane reviews.

The webinar will be presented by Dr Mark Simmonds, research fellow at the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, UK. The session is organized by the Cochrane Statistical Methods Group, with the support from Cochrane Learning & Support Department.

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