Fixed or random effects meta-analysis?

Common methodological issues in systematic reviews of effectiveness

Catalin Tufanaru*, Zachary Munn, Matthew Stephenson, Edoardo Aromataris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Citations (Scopus)


Systematic review aims to systematically identify, critically appraise, and summarize all relevant studies that match predefined criteria and answer predefined questions. The most common type of systematic review is that assessing the effectiveness of an intervention or therapy. In this article, we discuss some of the common methodological issues that arise when conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of effectiveness data, including issues related to study designs, meta-analysis, and the use and interpretation of effect sizes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-207
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Effect size
  • Effectiveness
  • Fixed effects
  • Meta-analysis
  • Random effects
  • Systematic review

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