Meta-Analysis and Subgroups

Meta-Analysis and Subgroups Subgroup analysis is the process of comparing a treatment effect for two or more variants of an intervention—to ask, for example, if an intervention’s impact is affected by the setting (school versus community), by the delivery agent (outside facilitator versus regular classroom teacher), by the quality of delivery, or if the long-term effect differs from the short-term effect. While large-scale studies often employ subgroup analyses, these analyses cannot generally be performed for small-scale studies, since these typically include a homogeneous population and only one variant of the intervention. This limitation can be bypassed by using meta-analysis. Meta-analysis allows the researcher to compare the treatment effect in different subgroups, even if these subgroups appear in separate studies. We discuss several statistical issues related to this procedure, including the selection of a statistical model and statistical power for the comparison. To illustrate these points, we use the example of a meta-analysis of obesity prevention. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Prevention Science Springer Journals

Meta-Analysis and Subgroups

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Society for Prevention Research
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Public Health; Health Psychology; Child and School Psychology
ISSN
1389-4986
eISSN
1573-6695
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11121-013-0377-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Subgroup analysis is the process of comparing a treatment effect for two or more variants of an intervention—to ask, for example, if an intervention’s impact is affected by the setting (school versus community), by the delivery agent (outside facilitator versus regular classroom teacher), by the quality of delivery, or if the long-term effect differs from the short-term effect. While large-scale studies often employ subgroup analyses, these analyses cannot generally be performed for small-scale studies, since these typically include a homogeneous population and only one variant of the intervention. This limitation can be bypassed by using meta-analysis. Meta-analysis allows the researcher to compare the treatment effect in different subgroups, even if these subgroups appear in separate studies. We discuss several statistical issues related to this procedure, including the selection of a statistical model and statistical power for the comparison. To illustrate these points, we use the example of a meta-analysis of obesity prevention.

Journal

Prevention ScienceSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 13, 2013

References

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