SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Although nurses have begun to use meta-analysis, a review of the nursing literature demonstrates that its use has not been maximized. Meta-analysis can be employed to synthesize descriptive as well as experimental research, yet attention in nursing has focused almost exclusively on meta-analysis techniques for, and meta-analytic studies of, experimental research. Furthermore, nursing literature has emphasized use of the effect size index (d) rather than the correlation index (r); the latter may, in some cases, be the more suitable metric, particularly with meta-analysis of correlational studies. An argument is made for the value of meta-analysis as a technique for integrating descriptive research, and an overview of different meta-analytic approaches to data analysis using the correlational index with descriptive research is provided.