I am trying to do a meta analysis, involving continuous data. I am trying to do this meta analysis in Stata using the metan command.

However, this data is organized in different fashions, where I have some studies with data listed as change in means with their standard errors and other data which is listed as the raw means and standard deviations.

Is there a way to combine this data and proceed with the analyses?

  • $\begingroup$ To begin with, I suggest reading: Morris, S. B., & DeShon, R. P. (2002). Combining effect size estimates in meta-analysis with repeated measures and independent-groups designs. Psychological Methods, 7, 105-125. $\endgroup$
    – Wolfgang
    Sep 15, 2011 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming that you want to compute standardised group mean differences for all studies (i.e., Cohen's $d$).

  • raw group means and standard deviations
  • change in means with standard errors:
    • I am assuming that you are referring to standard errors in the difference between means and that you are interested in a between subjects effect. Obviously the change in means corresponds to the numerator for the formula for Cohen's D. The challenge is to calculate the group standard deviations from the standard error of the difference between group means. If you know group sample sizes and are happy to assume that group standard deviations are equal then I think you can use the denominator of the formula for independent groups t-test to calculate the group standard deviation through a bit of algebra.

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