Principles of Metaanalysis

Published in: Journal of Rheumatology, v. 27, no. 1, 2000, p. 251-253

Posted on on December 31, 1999

by Paul G. Shekelle, Sally C. Morton

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Metaanalysis is a relatively new tool to help make evidence based decisions. This technique involves the systematic examination of available evidence on a given clinical topic, and the summary of that evidence using statistical techniques that pool data from multiple studies to yield a single result. The authors briefly discuss the principal steps in a metaanalysis; identifying all the studies; assessing the studies for quality; organizing the studies into subgroups; and summarizing the results.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.