Methods of estimating the pooled effect size under meta-analysis: A comparative appraisal

Mona Pathak, Sada Nand Dwivedi, Bhaskar Thakur, Sreenivas Vishnubhatla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Present study has compared methods of synthesizing the pooled effect estimate under meta-analysis, namely Fixed Effect Method (FEM), Random Effects Method (REM) and a recently proposed Weighted Least Square (WLS) method. Methods: Three methods of estimating pooled effect estimates under meta-analysis were compared on the basis of coverage probability and width of confidence interval. These methods were compared for seven outcomes with varying heterogeneity and sample size using real data of systematic review comparing neo-adjuvant chemotherapy with adjuvant chemotherapy involving ‘hazard ratio’ and ‘risk ratio’ as effect size. Results: WLS method was found to be superior to FEM having higher coverage probability in case of heterogeneity. Further, WLS with similar coverage probability was found to be superior to REM with more precise confidence interval. Conclusion: Unrestricted WLS method needs to be preferred unconditionally over fixed effect method and random effects method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Epidemiology and Global Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Coverage probability
  • Fixed effect methods
  • Precision
  • Random effects method
  • Weighted least square method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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