Meta-analysis has become widely popularized as a method for determining the answer to a scientific question based on multiple different sources of data. Recently, pitfalls in the application of meta-analysis have been identified in areas outside of pain research. A major focus of these pitfalls has been variance in methods for incorporating the effect of trial quality. The issue of trial quality in meta-analyses of pain research is discussed herein. The specific example of antidepressant trials for pain reduction in chronic, benign pain syndromes is used as an illustration of this issue. Recommendations for addressing the issue of trial quality specific to pain research area promulgated, and the issues with incorporating the results of prior meta-analytic reviews in specific pain research area are addressed.
- Chronic pain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine