Determining the explanatory potential of variables.
SourceJournal of Dental Research, 81, 4, (2002), pp. 289-94
Article / Letter to editor
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Preventative Restorative Dentistry
Medical Technology Assessment
SW OZ NISCO MT
Journal of Dental Research
SubjectDental epidemiology and oral health services; Tandheelkundige epidemiologie en gezondheidszorg
A meta-analysis may not be the most appropriate method for the extraction of information on independent variables from the scientific literature. A formal quantitative review method is proposed for reducing a literature review variable list to a manageable list of explanatory variables. The proposed method synthesizes the information in a standard literature review into two steps. First, the hypothesis "independent variable 'X' had no effect on utilization" is tested by means of binomial, one-sided testing. If it is rejected, then the hypothesis "The effect of independent variable 'X' is as likely to be in the same direction as it is to be in the opposite direction" is tested, by an extended version of the binomial formula. In two steps, the presence of a consistent direction of significant effects is calculated. This method is tested on dental utilization publications. It is concluded that the method is an effective tool for the creation of a manageable variable list.
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