On pooling data summaries in the absence of interactions "response-by-study"

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The standard hypothesis testing procedure in meta-analysis (or multicenter clinical trials) in the absence of treatment-by-center interaction relies on approximating the null distribution of the standard test statistic by a standard normal distribution. For relatively small sample sizes, the standard procedure has been shown by various authors to have poor control of the type I error probability, leading to too many liberal decisions. In this article, two test procedures are proposed, which rely on the t-distribution as the reference distribution. A simulation study indicates that the proposed procedures attain significance levels closer to the nominal level compared with the standard procedure. © Springer-Verlag 2002.

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