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© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Systematic reviews provide reliable syntheses of the evidence on efficacy and safety for interventions in bipolar disorder. Pooling data between studies using meta-analysis can produce precise estimates of treatment effects. Meta-analysis can also identify sources of variation between studies and explore the reasons for these. In the clinical area of bipolar disorder, meta-analysis has been used in many areas in which other study designs are not feasible including unbiased estimation of the protective effect of lithium on risk of suicide. More recent developments in research synthesis include network, or multiple treatments, meta-analysis, which allows the estimation of the comparative efficacy of multiple treatments by combining direct and indirect evidence. Overall, the application of meta-analysis in bipolar disorder has been particularly important for the appropriate establishment of the place of lithium in management.

Original publication





Book title

Clinical Trial Design Challenges in Mood Disorders

Publication Date



13 - 22