Beginning of meta-analysis in medical literature and its progression
Background: Meta-analysis is an epidemiological, recognized, quantifiable study design that helps in systematical evaluation of earlier research studies to originate conclusions indicative of the body of research. This paper provides an overview to meta-analysis and to highlight its rationales and also over-all considerations related to meta-analysis. This article emphasizes on methods that are used in order to produce a demanding meta-analysis including various facets of staging and understandings of meta-analysis are deliberated.
Methodology: A Systematic literature was conducted from 1990 till 31st December 2017, utilizing PubMed, Web of science, Scopus and Embase using a single keyword "meta-analysis in medicine". We made 5 groups on the basis of years and the variation in the number of articles (meta-analyses) published.
Results: One of the critical outcomes of the meta-analysis study result is its heterogeneity or variability examination. Our results showed that the number of meta-analysis published in the recent years has excelled rapidly in comparison to the previous rate i.e. 3294 meta-analyses were published back in 1990-1995, which increased to 7863 in 1996-2000, 18044 for the year 2002-2007, 44965 articles in 2008-2013 and 76135 in 2014-2017.
Conclusion: Meta-analysis results in the detailed and accurate assessment of the consequences of various treatments, different risk factors for any particular or specific diseases or some other outcomes, other than individual research contributing to joint analysis. Thoroughly conducted meta-analyses can be a useful tool in evidence-based medicine. The needs of integrating outcomes from several studies confirm that meta-analytic research is necessary and the vast literature based on newly generated researches contribute highly in conduct of this research achievable.
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