A practical guide to understanding systematic reviews and meta-analyses

J. Gail Neely*, Anthony E. Magit, Jason T. Rich, Courtney C.J. Voelker, Eric W. Wang, Randal C. Paniello, Brian Nussenbaum, Joseph P. Bradley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A systematic review is a transparent and unbiased review of available information. The published systematic review must report the details of the conduct of the review as one might report the details of a primary research project. A meta-analysis is a powerful and rigorous statistical approach to synthesize data from multiple studies, preferably obtained from a systematic review, in order to enlarge the sample size from smaller studies to test the original hypothesis and/or to generate new ones. The objective of this article is to serve as an easy to read practical guide to understand systematic reviews and meta-analyses for those reading them and for those who might plan to prepare them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-14
Number of pages9
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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