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Brian Morreale

Document Type


Publication Date



Physician Assistant

Faculty Advisor

Colleen Kashino, PhD


Health care decisions are not based solely on one or two empirical studies. Several levels of evidence are required before scientific research is incorporated into clinical practice. In medicine and many other fields, the meta-analysis is the highest level of empirical evidence. A meta-analysis is a useful statistical procedure that combines results of all obtainable trials of pre-specified eligibility. The studies included utilize the same quantitative research design and measure the same outcomes. This procedure renders an overall treatment effect for the body of research while taking the quality of the incorporated original work into account. By taking the quality of the studies into account, there is greater confidence in the conclusion of the analysis. This research is focused on reading and interpreting meta-analyses, specifically presenting a summary of the findings of a 2014 analysis of the effect of the influenza vaccine in healthy adults.