Unreported standard errors in metaanalysis

N.T. Longford


A study that would otherwise be eligible is commonly excluded from a metaanalysis when the standard error of its treatment-effect estimator, or the estimate of the variance of the outcomes, is not reported and cannot be recovered from the available information. This is wasteful when the estimate of the treatment effect is reported. We assess the loss of information caused by this practice and explore methods of imputation for the missing variance. The methods are illustrated on a set of examples, one constructed specifically for illustration and another based on a published systematic review.

Statistics in Transition 22, 2021.