I am conducting a Meta-Analysis using metafor in R. I calculate the standardized mean difference between patient groups (PG) and healthy control groups (HC) in the self-reported utilization of rumination.

Now, I would like to conduct a Meta-Regression with the mean-difference btw. the 2 groups of each study in the BDI-II (Beck Depression Inventory II) as a predictor.

Is this possible? Meta-regression is usually conducted for study-level variables. Practically, I can calculate a BDI-Mean Difference for each study. But I think that the SD or SE also had to be considered when making such type of calculations.

My dataset has, among others, the following variables: n.pg n.hc bdi.pg.m bdi.pg.sd bdi.hc.m bdi.hc.sd rum.pg.m rum.pg.sd rum.hc.m rum.hc.sd.


1 Answer 1


Your approach of including a second outcome as moderator is a bad idea. This approach fails to accommodate measurement error in the independent variable. If you want to test the association between the two outcomes, a bivariate meta-analysis model is the way to go. The challenge is to obtain the variance-covariance matrix for each study. Check this paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sim.5679


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