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" (Brooten, 2017).

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

As with any type of study, you can narrow your search down to just meta-analyses by adding it as a search term to your search string. See example below:

"pain management" AND "meta-analysis"

There are also things that you can do in specific databases that can help you limit to these articles as shown below.

CINAHL and Medline: Publication Type Filter


CINAHL and Medline are databases that allow you to limit your search results to meta-analyses only. 

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

  1. Enter the database you want to search through the links above. You will be taken directly to the advanced search page. Enter your keyword (s) into the search boxes. 
  2. Scroll 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. 
  3. Select Meta Analysis from the Publication Type scroll menu.

PubMed: Meta-Analysis Filter

To find a Meta-Analysis in PubMed, follow the steps below:

  1. Enter the database through the link above.
  2. Search your topic by entering your keywords into the search box and hitting search. 
  3. Select Meta-Analysis from the Article Type section to the left-hand side of the page.

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


Brooten, D. (2017). Clinical trials. In J. Fitzpatrick (Ed.), Encyclopedia of nursing research (4th ed.). Springer Publishing Company.