Six Meta-analyses on Treatments for Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome in a Year and Readers Are None the Wiser: Methods Advice for Researchers Planning Meta-analysis of Data from Fewer Than 5 Trials

Tobias Saueressig*, Hugo Pedder, Steven J Bowe, Patrick J Owen, Daniel L Belavy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

In 2020, six systematic reviews with meta-analyses comparing arthroscopic hip surgery and physiotherapy were published. All meta-analyses included the same three randomized controlled trials. No meta-analysis used methods suitable for the analysis of few studies (i.e. less than five). In the case of fewer than five studies and heterogeneity, a random effects model with the Hartung-Knapp-Sidik-Jonkman (HSKJ) adjustment for a maximally conservative estimate and, if reliable prior information is available, a Bayesian random effects meta-analysis should be employed. Based on our re-analysis, there is currently insufficient evidence to conclude surgery is superior to physiotherapy for FAI. Further randomized controlled trials are required to resolve the clinical question of “what is the best treatment approach for femoroacetabular impingement syndrome?”. We provide readers with tools to conduct appropriate meta-analysis of fewer than 5 trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-203
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Volume51
Issue number5
Early online date30 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Movement Science Media. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • meta-analysis
  • methodology

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