Evidence-based practice rests on the knowledge generated from sound empirical research combined with clinical expertise. However, many clinicians lack the time to evaluate multiple studies. Meta-analysis is a statistical procedure for combining the results of multiple studies investigating a common problem or issue to produce a pooled effect size, and to evaluate the efficacy of interventions across studies. Meta-analysis can thus be used to synthesize and integrate empirical research to provide important evidence for best-practice decisions. This article examines the meta-analysis process and its links to evidence-based practice.
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Evidence-based Practice| November 01 2001
Meta-analysis: A Tool for Evidence-based Practice
Gayle J. Acton, PhD, RN, CNS
From the the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, Austin, Texas.
Reprint requests to Gayle J. Acton, PhD, RN, CNS, University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, 1700 Red River, Austin, TX 78701 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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AACN Adv Crit Care (2001) 12 (4): 539–545.
Gayle J. Acton; Meta-analysis: A Tool for Evidence-based Practice. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 November 2001; 12 (4): 539–545. doi:
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