Nevin Manimala Statistics

ccaR: a package for assessing primary study overlap across systematic reviews in overviews

Res Synth Methods. 2022 Nov 12. doi: 10.1002/jrsm.1610. Online ahead of print.


An overview of reviews aims to collect, assess, and synthesize evidence from multiple systematic reviews (SRs) on a specific topic using rigorous and reproducible methods. An important methodological challenge in conducting an overview of reviews is the management of overlapping data due to the inclusion of the same primary studies in SRs. We present a free, open-source R package called ccaR ( that provides easy-to-use functions for assessing the degree of overlap of primary studies in an overview of reviews with the use of the corrected cover area (CCA) index. A worked example with and without consideration of chronological structural missingness is outlined, illustrating the steps involved in, calculating the CCA index and creating a publication-ready heatmap. We expect ccaR to be useful for overview authors, methodologists, and reviewers who are familiar with the basics of R and contribute to the discussion on different methodological approaches for implementing the CCA index. Future research and applications could further investigate the functionality or potential limitations of our package and other potential uses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:36369993 | DOI:10.1002/jrsm.1610

By Nevin Manimala

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