A simple confidence interval for meta-analysis

Stat Med. 2002 Nov 15;21(21):3153-9. doi: 10.1002/sim.1262.


In the context of a random effects model for meta-analysis, a number of methods are available to estimate confidence limits for the overall mean effect. A simple and commonly used method is the DerSimonian and Laird approach. This paper discusses an alternative simple approach for constructing the confidence interval, based on the t-distribution. This approach has improved coverage probability compared to the DerSimonian and Laird method. Moreover, it is easy to calculate, and unlike some methods suggested in the statistical literature, no iterative computation is required.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Confidence Intervals*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*