Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Empirical assessment of effect of publication bias on meta-analyses
Authors: Sutton, Alex J.
Duval, S.J.
Tweedie, R.L.
Abrams, Keith R.
Jones, David R.
First Published: 10-Jun-2000
Publisher: British Medical Journal
Citation: BMJ, 2000, 320, pp.1574-1577
Abstract: Objective: To assess the effect of publication bias on the results and conclusions of systematic reviews and meta-­analyses. Design: Analysis of published meta­-analyses by trim and fill method. Studies: 48 reviews in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews that considered a binary endpoint and contained 10 or more individual studies. Main outcome measures: Number of reviews with missing studies and effect on conclusions of meta-­analyses. Results: The trim and fill fixed effects analysis method estimated that 26 (54%) of reviews had missing studies and in 10 the number missing was significant. The corresponding figures with a random effects model were 23 (48%) and eight. In four cases, statistical inferences regarding the effect of the intervention were changed after the overall estimate for publication bias was adjusted for. Conclusions: Publication or related biases were common within the sample of meta­analyses assessed. In most cases these biases did not affect the conclusions. Nevertheless, researchers should check routinely whether conclusions of systematic reviews are robust to possible non­random selection mechanisms.
Type: Article
Description: Tables and figures are in a separate document available via the BMJ website at, and available here converted to PDF.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Health Sciences

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
1574.pdfArticle267.98 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Emp.pdfTables and figures173.77 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.