Interpreting and Using Meta-Analysis in Clinical Practice

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Abstract

Systematic reviews, which can include a meta-analysis, are considered the gold standard for determination of best practice. Meta-analysis combines the results from many primary studies to identify patterns among the individual study results and then assesses the overall effectiveness of a specific healthcare intervention. The purpose of this article was to describe the process of performing a meta-analysis, discuss advantages and disadvantages of meta-analyses, and interpret the results of a meta-analysis from current research relevant to orthopaedic nursing practice.

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