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Stratification for exploring heterogeneity in systematic reviews

Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(8):JC4-2. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-151-8-200910200-02002
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Figure 1.
Forest plot for 37 studies included in the progressive resistance training (PRT) meta-analysis stratified by “clear description of randomization.”

The black squares represent the standardized mean differences (with area proportional to the amount of information available in each study-i.e., larger studies have bigger squares), and horizontal lines indicate 95% CI. The black diamond indicates the subgroup pooled estimate. The open diamond is the overall pooled estimate. The vertical line through 0 represents no effect. Df = degrees of freedom; ID = identification. *Q statistic shows statistically significant heterogeneity; †I2 shows moderate inconsistency; ‡Q statistic shows no statistically significant heterogeneity; § I2 shows a little inconsistency; ||Q statistic for all studies shows statistically significant heterogeneity; ¶I2 shows substantial inconsistency.

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Figure 2.
Potential methodological sources of heterogeneity.
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Figure 3.
Potential clinical sources of heterogeneity.
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