A Practical Guide to Perform a Systematic Literature Review and Meta-analysis

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Andrés Felipe Herrera Ortiz
Eduard Cadavid Camacho
Julián Cubillos Rojas
Tatiana Cadavid Camacho
Stephani Zoe Guevara
Nury Tatiana Rincón Cuenca
Andrés Vásquez Perdomo
Valeria Del Castillo Herazo
Rubén Giraldo Malo


Nowadays, systematic literature reviews/meta-analyses of clinical trials are considered the best evidence in clinical research; thus, if performed appropriately, they can save resources by avoiding the development of unnecessary clinical trials. Nevertheless, to carry out a systematic literature review /meta-analysis, researchers must deeply understand its methodology. This narrative review aims to act as a learning tool for new researchers to perform systematic literature reviews/meta-analyses for categorical variables, addressing this matter in a step-by-step fashion using STATA 17. Readers must understand that the scope of this topic is much broader. Therefore, concepts such as meta-analysis for numerical outcomes or meta-analysis for survival analysis are not addressed. The authors hope that the information presented in this manuscript serves as pillars to enhance research worldwide, especially in places where formal research training is uncommon. If readers want to extend their knowledge regarding this subject, we recommend reading the "The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and the Center for Reviews and Dissemination" or the book "Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for systematic reviews."

NOTE: This manuscript was corrected after initial publication (see Erratum).

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How to Cite
Herrera Ortiz, A. F., Cadavid Camacho, E. ., Cubillos Rojas, J. ., Cadavid Camacho, T. ., Zoe Guevara, S. ., Tatiana Rincón Cuenca, N. ., Vásquez Perdomo, A. ., Del Castillo Herazo, V. ., & Giraldo Malo, R. . (2022). A Practical Guide to Perform a Systematic Literature Review and Meta-analysis. Principles and Practice of Clinical Research, 7(4), 47–57. https://doi.org/10.21801/ppcrj.2021.74.6
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