Estimating the sample mean and standard deviation from commonly reported quantiles in meta-analysis

by   Sean McGrath, et al.

Researchers increasingly use meta-analysis to synthesize the results of several studies in order to estimate a common effect. When the outcome variable is continuous, standard meta-analytic approaches assume that the primary studies report the sample mean and standard deviation of the outcome. However, when the outcome is skewed, authors sometimes summarize the data by reporting the sample median and one or both of (i) the minimum and maximum values and (ii) the first and third quartiles, but do not report the mean or standard deviation. To include these studies in meta-analysis, several methods have been developed to estimate the sample mean and standard deviation from the reported summary data. A major limitation of these widely used methods is that they assume that the outcome distribution is normal, which is unlikely to be tenable for studies reporting medians. We propose two novel approaches to estimate the sample mean and standard deviation when data are suspected to be non-normal. Our simulation results and empirical assessments show that the proposed methods often perform better than the existing methods when applied to non-normal data.


Standard error estimation in meta-analysis of studies reporting medians

We consider the setting of an aggregate data meta-analysis of a continuo...

Chi-squared Test for Binned, Gaussian Samples

We examine the χ^2 test for binned, Gaussian samples, including effects ...

Optimally estimating the sample mean and standard deviation from the five-number summary

When reporting the results of clinical studies, some researchers may cho...

Two-sample aggregate data meta-analysis of medians

We consider the problem of meta-analyzing two-group studies that report ...

Testing normality using the summary statistics with application to meta-analysis

As the most important tool to provide high-level evidence-based medicine...

Towards more scientific meta-analyses

Meta-analysis can be a critical part of the research process, often serv...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset