Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
DE-REGIL, Luz María and CASANUEVA, Esther. Scientific rationality, causality and metaanalyses of clinical trials. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2008, vol.50, n.6, pp. 523-529. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342008000600014.
Currently, the challenge is to analyze and synthesize as much information as possible in order to make quick, correct decisions. Systematic reviews and meta-analysis have quickly arisen in the health field because they allow researchers to congregate studies of similar characteristics to generate estimators that describe the risk or benefit of practices related to health problems. To understand and attach the appropriate importance to meta-analyses, it is necessary to consider the rationale of the theoretical framework, the methodological criteria, and the possible causal relationship between exposure and outcome, besides contextualizing the information. This paper briefly explores scientific rationality and its application in causal theory within an epidemiological framework, to set the basis that allows decision-makers and health professionals to evaluate the appropriateness and validity of conclusions derived from this type of analyses.
Keywords : causality; meta-analysis.