Understanding forest plots – seeing the wood for the trees!

Meta-analysis is a statistical technique for combining the results of individual studies.   A meta-analysis is often carried out as part of a systematic review, and in such a review, you may find a forest plot being used to present the results of the meta-analysis.


In our latest meeting of the Writing Club, Dr Laura Gray, Reader of Population and Public Health Sciences from the University of Leicester, showed us how to read a forest plot, specifically how to interpret odds ratios, confidence intervals, weighted averages, and p values. We also looked at heterogeneity, that is, how similar the individual studies are.

View Laura’s presentation here – Wood for the trees



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