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


Workshop session 5: Thursday, 14:00-15:30

Workshop category: 

  • Methods for conducting syntheses (including different evidence, searching and information retrieval, statistics, assessing methodological quality)


Date and Location


Thursday 14 September 2017 - 14:00 to 15:30


Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person:


Joanne McKenzie


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 be discussed, including options for pooling estimates of intervention effect when a mix of results from analyses using change from baseline and final values have been reported; and use of the generic inverse variance method. Issues will be illustrated by examples.