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October 2021

Focus on research methods - Facilitating the work of a meta-analyst

Journal/Book: Res Nurs Health. 1999; 22: 605 Third Ave, New York, NY 10158-0012, USA. John Wiley & Sons Inc. 523-530.

Abstract: Meta-analysis facilitates the transfer of knowledge from nurse researchers to clinicians. In this article, the benefits and criticisms of meta-analysis for nursing are identified along with the specific problems a meta-analyst may encounter in conducting a quantitative analysis and synthesis of the literature. Problems in data retrieval from the primary studies for a quantitative literature review can plague a meta-analyst. These problems can include insufficient data such as inexact p-values, incomplete descriptions of samples or experimental and control groups, and errors in tables in research reports. Suggestions for removing some of these roadblocks are addressed along with recommendations to authors, editors, and manuscript reviewers. An example of a suggestion for authors is to focus on reporting exact statistical values and p-levels. Also, sample characteristics and methodological variables are deserving of detailed descriptions in research reports. Editors can consider including a summary table of basic descriptive and inferential statistics. Another recommendation for editors is to develop a reviewer's checklist to ensure the author has included all relevant statistical information and study characteristics a meta-analyst needs. Res Nur Health 22.523-530, 1999.

Note: Article Beck CT, Univ Connecticut, Sch Nursing U26, Storrs,CT 06269 USA

Keyword(s): meta-analysis; publication; quantitative synthesis; POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION; METAANALYSIS; REVIEWS; CARE

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