Graphic for meta-analysis

PW Lane, J Anzures-Cabrera, Stephanie Lewis, J Tomlinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We present 4 types of graphic used in meta-analysis. The commonest is the forest plot, and we discuss important aspects of the basic form of this plot. We present 2 enhanced versions, one displaying the results of subgroup analysis, and the second displaying absolute risks alongside relative risks from a meta-analysis of a binary outcome. The funnel plot is a well-established graph for assessing publication bias. We show some alternative forms, including a recently suggested enhancement using contours. The third type is a bubble plot used to summarize the results of meta-regression. Finally, we show a graphic designed for network meta-analysis, presenting rankings of the treatments that are compared. We prepared programs and graphs using GenStat™, R, RevMan™, SAS™ and Stata™, and these are available from the website.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA picture is worth a thousand tables: graphics in life sciences
EditorsA Krause, M O'Connell
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4614-5329-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-4614-5328-4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2012


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