Health Services Research & Development

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2017 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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3005 — Applied Design and Statistical Methods for Performing High Impact Meta-Analyses

Lead/Presenter: Donna White, COIN - Houston
All Authors: White DL (Houston COIN) Kramer J (Houston COIN) Hysong S (Houston COIN)

Workshop Objectives:
Meta-analysis is a powerful and widely used tool for quantitatively summarizing research findings. Policy makers increasingly rely on meta-analytic findings to inform clinical decision-making and health policy guidelines, with meta-analyses among the most highly cited publications. This workshop's purpose is teaching participants how to pool diverse commonly reported effect metrics reported in the literature, and how to perform statistical tests to quantify between-study heterogeneity, identify sources of heterogeneity and potential bias including publication bias. We will also briefly overview methods for an emerging form of meta-analysis, network meta-analysis. Our goals are to help participants be able to independently use these statistical methods to perform a meta-analysis using widely available software. The instructors for this workshop are highly experienced in conducting and publishing high impact meta-analyses in the fields of clinical epidemiology, comparative effectiveness and industrial and organizational psychology, respectively.

Specific exercises will teach attendees to: 1. Understand applied steps in obtaining pooled estimators and assessing their reliability and validity including use of statistical tests to assess for and identify sources of heterogeneity and publication bias (Higgins I-square, analysis of influence, meta-regression, cumulative meta-analysis, Egger's test, number needed to treat) and graphical assessment of funnel plots. 2. Practice interpreting meta-analytic findings that pool varied commonly pooled effect metrics (e.g., odds ratios, Cohen's d, diagnostic test findings like positive predictive value) in clinical epidemiology, comparative effectiveness and psychological research. We will also review key biases to be aware of in performing and appropriately reporting meta-analytic findings. In addition to copies of worked examples and syntax, participants will also receive a list of relevant software packages/useful readings/weblinks as well as additional background information on how to perform rigorous meta-analyses.

Target Audience:
Researchers interested in independently conducting or supervising performance of meta-analyses or in appropriately interpreting and using meta-analytic findings.

Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic:
We will assume little direct knowledge or experience in using statistical methods to perform meta-analysis.