Introduction to meta-analysis 1: meta-analysis of binary and continuous outcomes

Core Methods Workshop

Workshop category: 

  • Statistical methods
Date and Location


Tuesday 22 October 2019 - 11:00 to 12:30


Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person:


McKenzie J1, Chaimani A2, Evrenoglou T2
1 Monash University, Australia
2 Paris Descartes University, Cochrane France, France
Target audience

Target audience: 

review authors

Level of difficulty: 

Type of workshop

Type of workshop : 



Objectives: the Cochrane Statistical Methods Group has developed a series of workshops addressing statistical guidelines as formulated in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. This workshop will provide review authors with the knowledge of issues surrounding meta-analysis of binary and continuous outcomes.

Description: binary and continuous data are commonly encountered in health care. Pooling intervention effects from binary and continuous data presents unique methodological issues; some of these issues will be discussed in this workshop. A brief introduction to meta-analysis of binary and continuous outcomes will be included, consisting of data extraction (extraction of event frequencies and/or effect estimates, and the extraction of standard deviations from standard errors, confidence intervals, test statistics and P values); and dealing with outcomes measured on different scales. More complex issues will also be discussed, including options for pooling estimates of intervention effect when trials report a mix of results from analyses using change from baseline and final values; and use of the generic inverse variance method. Issues will be illustrated by examples.