Acta Medica Medianae
Faculty of Medicine in NisBulevar
85 Zoran Djindjic Blvd.
18000 Nis, Serbia
Phone:018/226644 ext 230
Meta-analysis is a statistical and analytical method which combines and synthesizes different independent studies and integrates their results into a common result. In the past few years, there has been an increasing interest in meta-analysis from both medical researches and statisticians. One of the main targets of clinical research is to obtain reliable results, although clinical trials with the same topic often give contrasting results. Medical practice is strongly influenced by the results of clinical studies if they are brought to light through important scientific journals. This large amount of information often contains scattered data, and discordant conclusions, and sometimes it is very hard to define the quality and validity of each study. Today, a large number of biomedical journals give importance to articles using meta-analysis in their researches. By using meta-analysis as a method of summarizing, integrating and analyzing a large number of independent studies on the same topic and finally pooling their results into a common result, a researcher can achieve relevant, objective and unbiased conclusions, if the procedure is well-conducted and controlled by the experts. The aim of this paper is to provide the clinical researcher with the basic principles of meta-analysis and its concepts in order to perform a valid clinical study and to report results in the correct way. In today’s evidence-based medical practice, it is crucial for anyone who wants to deal seriously with the scientific work in the biomedical field to learn mathematical and statistical principles that build meta-analysis. In that way, this statistical method could be of great importance to the researcher who wants to respond to new demands of modern medical science. Acta Medica Medianae 2009;48(2):28-31.
Key words: meta-analysis, statistics, analytics