How to conduct meta-analysis: a basic tutorial
Meta analysis refers to a process of integration of the results of many studies to arrive at evidence syn- thesis. Meta analysis is similar to systematic review; however, in addition to narrative summary that is conducted in systematic review, in meta analysis, the analysts also numerically pool the results of the studies and arrive at a summary estimate. In this paper, we discuss the key steps of conducting a meta analysis. We will discuss the steps of a simple meta-analysis with a demonstration of the key steps based on a published paper on meta-analysis and systematic review of the effectiveness of salt restricted diet on blood pressure control. This paper is a basic introduction to the process of meta-analysis. In subsequent papers in this series, we will show how you can conduct meta-analysis of diagnostic and screening studies, network meta analyses, and those of diagnostic and screening studies.