Incorrect interpretation or statistical inference error from meta-analysis

This problem is addressed in PRISMA 2020, AMSTAR 1, AMSTAR 2, ROBIS and MECIR. Systematic reviews are often limited to discussing statistically significant findings but some inferences made on the basis of statistical significance are misleading. For example statistical significance does not equal clinical importance; absence of statistical significance does not mean absence of an effect but rather absence of evidence of an effect; also correlations found in meta-analyses of observational findings does not demonstrate cause.

Articles that support this problem:

Tai Chi and Parkinson's disease (PD): A systematic overview of the scientific quality of the past systematic reviews

2019 : Complementary therapies in medicine

Statistical methods can be improved within Cochrane pregnancy and childbirth reviews

2011 : Journal of clinical epidemiology

Survey of claims of no effect in abstracts of Cochrane reviews

2003 : Bmj

Claims of ‘no difference’or ‘no effect’in Cochrane and other systematic reviews

2020 : Bmj evidence-based medicine

Flaws in the application and interpretation of statistical analyses in systematic reviews of therapeutic interventions were common: a cross-sectional analysis

2018 : Journal of clinical epidemiology

Quality and clarity in systematic review abstracts: an empirical study

2016 : Research synthesis methods

The Cochrane 1998 Albumin Review–not all it was cracked up to be

2002 : European journal of anaesthesiology

Quality of systematic reviews on timing of complementary feeding for early childhood allergy prevention

2023 : Bmc medical research methodology

Critical thinking about three meta-analyses: can vitamin D alone or with calcium prevent fractures?

2020 : Current medical research and opinion

Striking Errors in the Methodology, Execution, and Conclusions of the Cochrane Library Review of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Low Back Pain by Traeger et al

2023 : Pain medicine

Causal language use in systematic reviews of observational studies is often inconsistent with intent: a systematic survey

2022 : Journal of clinical epidemiology