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“Meta-epidemiological study” is a study in which the unit of analysis is a study, not a patient; response to Puljak et al.

  • Yuki Kataoka
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Kyoto Min-iren Asukai Hospital, Kyoto, Japan
    Scientific Research Works Peer Support Group (SRWS-PSG), Osaka, Japan
    Section of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Community Medicine, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
    Department of Healthcare Epidemiology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine / School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Masahiro Banno
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Seichiryo Hospital, Nagoya, Japan
    Department of Psychiatry, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan
    Scientific Research WorkS Peer Support Group (SRWS-PSG), Osaka, Japan
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  • Yasushi Tsujimoto
    Affiliations
    Oku Medical Clinic, Osaka, Japan
    Department of Health Promotion and Human Behavior, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine/School of Public Health, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
    Scientific Research WorkS Peer Support Group (SRWS-PSG), Osaka, Japan
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  • Toshi A. Furukawa
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author: Department of Health Promotion and Human Behavior, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine/School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan, Tel.: +81 75 753 9491; fax: +81 75 753 4641.
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Promotion and Human Behavior, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine/School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan
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Published:December 08, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2022.12.002
      We welcome Prof. Puljak's comment and related endeavors to clarify and define the currently confusing nomenclatures around “meta-epidemiology” and related terms such as “meta-research” and “research-on-research” [
      • Puljak L.
      Caution is needed when describing a study design as meta-epidemiological.
      ,
      • Puljak L.
      • Makaric Z.L.
      • Buljan I.
      • Pieper D.
      What is a meta-epidemiological study? Analysis of published literature indicated heterogeneous study designs and definitions.
      ]. We agree that the concept of “meta-epidemiological” studies includes studies that evaluate the impact of trial characteristics on effect sizes [
      • Sterne J.A.C.
      • Jüni P.
      • Schulz K.F.
      • Altman D.G.
      • Bartlett C.
      • Egger M.
      Statistical methods for assessing the influence of study characteristics on treatment effects in “meta-epidemiological” research.
      ]. However, we do not agree with limiting the concept of this term only to such studies for several reasons.
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      References

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        Caution is needed when describing a study design as meta-epidemiological.
        J Clin Epidemiol. 2022; (Online ahead of print)
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        What is a meta-epidemiological study? Analysis of published literature indicated heterogeneous study designs and definitions.
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        Statistical methods for assessing the influence of study characteristics on treatment effects in “meta-epidemiological” research.
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      1. That's so meta [Internet].
        (Merriam-Webster. Available at:)

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