Practical methodology of meta-analyses (overviews) using updated individual patient data


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Meta-analyses using updated individual patient data may provide the most reliable means of combining data from similar randomized controlled trials. The benefits of this approach to systematic reviews are described. Guidance, based on the experience of several groups who have undertaken such projects, is given. This includes practical advice on initiating and maintaining collaboration, the time and resources required to undertake these usually international projects and methods of data checking and validation. Example proforma are included.