How do two meta-analyses of similar data reach opposite conclusions?BMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7187.873b (Published 27 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:873
- Morten Lindbaek (email@example.com), Associate professor,
- Per Hjortdahl, Professor
- Department of General Practice, University of Oslo, Box 1130 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway
EDITOR—In their meta-analysis Fahey et al concluded that treatment with antibiotics made no significant difference to the resolution of acute cough,1 although they found a trend favouring antibiotics. The Cochrane meta-analysis on treatment of acute bronchitis concluded that antibiotics have a modest beneficial effect.2 Eight of the nine studies extracted were the same in both meta-analyses, and 90% of the 750 patients were used in both.
How can two meta-analyses based on the same studies …