DefinitionA graphic depiction designed to illustrate the relative strength of the effects of a particular intervention or therapy in a meta-analysis of multiple quantitative studies–e.g., randomised clinical trials–addressing the same question.
Comment The objective data in a forest plot is typically presented in two columns: the left column provides the details of a particular study; the right column, the odds ratios and confidence interval. The data in a forest plot is typically represented by:
(1) A square, the area of which is proportional to the study’s weight in the meta-analysis
(2) A solid horizontal line, for the confidence intervals
(3) A dashed vertical line, the global meta-analysed measure of effect, and
(4) A diamond, the meta-analysed measure of effect, whose lateral points indicate the summed confidence intervals.