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BACKGROUND Meta-analysis has become a well-known method for synthesis of quantitative data from previously conducted research in applied health sciences. So far, meta-analysis has been particularly useful in evaluating and comparing therapies and in assessing causes of disease. Consequently, the number of software packages that can perform meta-analysis has(More)
BACKGROUND Our objective was to systematically assess the differences in features, results, and usability of currently available meta-analysis programs. METHODS Systematic review of software. We did an extensive search on the internet (Google, Yahoo, Altavista, and MSN) for specialized meta-analysis software. We included six programs in our review:(More)
BACKGROUND When developing multivariable regression models for diagnosis or prognosis, continuous independent variables can be categorized to make a prediction table instead of a prediction formula. Although many methods have been proposed to dichotomize prognostic variables, to date there has been no integrated method for polychotomization. The latter is(More)
Devices for neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) are increasingly used by individuals without specific injuries and are standard equipment in most physical therapy practices. The most often stimulated muscle group is the quadriceps femoris. We designed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials to determine whether NMES is(More)
In meta-analysis, the assessment of graphs is widely used in an attempt to identify or rule out heterogeneity and publication bias. A variety of graphs are available for this purpose. To date, however, there has been no comparative evaluation of the performance of these graphs. With the objective of assessing the reproducibility and validity of graph(More)
OBJECTIVE To review the evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of the currently available point of care D-dimer tests for excluding venous thromboembolism. DESIGN Systematic review of research on the accuracy of point of care D-dimer tests, using bivariate regression to examine sources of variation and to estimate sensitivity and specificity. DATA SOURCES(More)
BACKGROUND Physicians committed to the care of elderly patients, are challenged with the diagnosis of venous thromboembolism (VTE: deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) due to a higher incidence, co-morbidities masking signs and symptoms and burdening referrals. Clinical decision rules (CDRs) have been developed and implemented for VTE. Yet, until(More)
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