Document Detail

Methodology and reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies in psychiatric epidemiology: systematic review.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22661677     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Relatively little is known of the use of systematic review and synthesis methods of non-randomised psychiatric epidemiological studies, which play a vital role in aetiological research, planning and policy-making.
AIMS: To evaluate reviews of psychiatric epidemiological studies of functional mental disorders that employed synthesis methods such as systematic review or meta-analysis, or other forms of quantitative review.
METHOD: We searched the literature to identify appropriate reviews published during the period 1996 to April 2009. Selected reviews were evaluated using published review guidelines.
RESULTS: We found 106 reviews in total, of which 38 (36%) did not mention method of data abstraction from primary studies at all. Many failed to mention study quality, publication bias, bias and confounding. In 73 studies that performed a meta-analysis, 58 (79%) tested for heterogeneity and of these, 47 found significant heterogeneity. Studies that detected heterogeneity made some allowance for this. A major obstacle facing reviewers is the wide variation between primary studies in the use of instruments to measure outcomes and in sampling methods used.
CONCLUSIONS: Many deficiencies found in systematic reviews are potentially remediable, although synthesis of primary study findings in a field characterised by so many sources of heterogeneity will remain challenging.
Traolach S Brugha; Ruth Matthews; Zoe Morgan; Trevor Hill; Jordi Alonso; David R Jones
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science     Volume:  200     ISSN:  1472-1465     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-04     Completed Date:  2012-08-22     Revised Date:  2013-02-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0342367     Medline TA:  Br J Psychiatry     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  446-53     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Psychiatry, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Epidemiologic Methods
Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
Meta-Analysis as Topic*
Publication Bias
Review Literature as Topic*
Comment In:
Br J Psychiatry. 2012 Sep;201(3):248   [PMID:  22945928 ]
Br J Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;202(1):75-6   [PMID:  23284154 ]

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