Finding Types of Research

What is a Meta-Analysis?

"Meta-analysis (quantitative overview) is a systematic review that employs statistical methods to combine and summarize the results of several trials. Well-conducted meta-analyses are the best method of summarizing all available unbiased evidence on the relative effects of treatment."

Meta-analyses and systematic reviews are often conducted together with the meta-analysis being the statistical testing carried out over the articles selected for the systematic review.

Find a Meta-Analysis

You can narrow your search to meta-analyses only by adding a search term of meta-analysis to your search statement. Example: "pain management" AND "meta-analysis".

There are also filters in specific databases that allow you to limit your search results to meta-analysis articles only.

CINAHL and Medline: Publication Type Filter


To find meta-analyses in CINAHL or Medline, follow the steps below.

  1. Select one of the database links above to open the advanced search page.
  2. Enter your keyword(s) into the search boxes. 
  3. Move down to the Limit Your Results section. This is where you can add filters to your search to tell the database that you only want articles that fit specific criteria. 
  4. Select Meta Analysis from the Publication Type menu, as shown in the image below.

PubMed: Meta-Analysis Filter

To find a meta-analysis in PubMed, follow the steps below.

  1. Select the database link above.
  2. Enter your keyword(s) into the search box.
  3. Select Search.
  4. Select Meta-Analysis from the Article Type section on the left-hand side of the page, as shown in the image below.

Note! With any of these searches, you will need to limit to full text to get articles immediately available to you.

Example of a Meta-Analysis