Technology Briefing

Meta-analyses have become increasingly popular for guiding clinical decision-making, but there has been an ongoing debate over the legitimacy of these analyses compared to controlled clinical trials.

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that meta-analyses - which combine the results of multiple independent trials - may oversimplify a complex situation, leading to inappropriate decisions. University of Montreal clinicians compared 19 meta-analyses to 12 large (>1000 patients), randomized, controlled trials relating to the same therapeutic treatment, patient population, and outcome measured.