Simulation study of estimating between-study variance and overall effect in meta-analysis of standardized mean difference

Ilyas Bakbergenuly, David C. Hoaglin, Elena Kulinskaya

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Methods for random-effects meta-analysis require an estimate of the between-study variance, $\tau^2$. The performance of estimators of $\tau^2$ (measured by bias and coverage) affects their usefulness in assessing heterogeneity of study-level effects, and also the performance of related estimators of the overall effect. For the effect measure standardized mean difference (SMD), we provide the results from extensive simulations on five point estimators of $\tau^2$ (the popular methods of DerSimonian-Laird, restricted maximum likelihood, and Mandel and Paule (MP); the less-familiar method of Jackson; the new method (KDB) based on the improved approximation to the distribution of the Q statistic by Kulinskaya, Dollinger and Bj{\o}rkest{\o}l (2011) ), five interval estimators for $\tau^2$ (profile likelihood, Q-profile, Biggerstaff and Jackson, Jackson, and the new KDB method), six point estimators of the overall effect (the five related to the point estimators of $\tau^2$ and an estimator whose weights use only study-level sample sizes), and eight interval estimators for the overall effect (five based on the point estimators for $\tau^2$; the Hartung-Knapp-Sidik-Jonkman (HKSJ) interval; a modification of HKSJ; and an interval based on the sample-size-weighted estimator).
Original languageEnglish
JournalArXiv e-prints
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019


  • stat.ME

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