Meta-analysis provides a framework for combining the results of several clinical trials and drawing inferences about the effectiveness of medical treatments. The move towards evidence-based health care and practice is underpinned by the use of meta-analysis. Meta-analysis methods play a crucial role in health research and have been developed substantially over the last five years.
* Provides a thorough criticism and an up-to-date survey of meta-analysis methods
* Emphasises the practical approach, and illustrates the methods by numerous examples
* Describes the use of Bayesian methods in meta-analysis
* Includes discussion of appropriate software for each analysis
* Includes numerous references to more advanced treatment of specialist topics
* Refers to software code used in the examples available on the authors' Web site
Practising statisticians, statistically minded clinicians and health research professionals will benefit greatly from the clear presentation and numerous examples. Medical researchers will grasp the basic principles of meta-analysis, and learn how to apply the various methods.