Author's Final Manuscript
Clinical Social Work Journal
Evidence-based practice depends in part on knowledge derived from relevant research. For any given topic, there are likely to be many, potentially relevant studies; a careful appraisal and synthesis of the results of these studies is needed to understand the state of the empirical evidence. Meta-analysis is widely used to combine results of quantitative studies; yet this method is unfamiliar to many people and, as a result, meta-analyses are often uncritically accepted. In this article, we argue that meta-analysis is only one component of a good research synthesis. We critique a recent meta-analysis on the effectiveness of long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, showing that this meta-analysis failed to meet current standards for the conduct and reporting of systematic research reviews and meta-analyses. We demonstrate the use of AMSTAR, a straightforward tool for assessing the quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
The final publication is available at http://www.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10615-010-0308-z.
Littell, Julia H., and Aron Shlonsky. "Making Sense of Meta-Analysis: A Critique of 'Effectiveness of Long-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.'" Clinical Social Work Journal 39, no. 4 (2011): 340-346, doi: 10.1007/s10615-010-0308-z.