DisMod II



Risk factor






Version 2.0

Major update: inverse variance heterogeneity (IVhet) model added

MetaXL’s forest plot output.


Meta-analysis is a statistical method to combine the results of epidemiological  studies in order to increase power. Basically, it produces a weighted  average of the included studies results.

The goal of MetaXL is twofold. The first is to make high quality meta-analysis methods easily accessible for people without access to statistical packages such as  Stata™ or SAS™, or to commercial specialized software such as MIX™ or  Comprehensive Meta-analysis™. The second is to make available and promote the use of alternatives to the random effects model. The random effects model, as explained in the MetaXL User Guide, is seriously flawed and should be abandoned. MetaXL therefore implements the inverse variance heterogeneity (IVhet) and quality effects models as alternatives to the random  effects model. The first provides a quasi-likelihood based expansion of the confidence interval around the inverse variance weighted pooled estimate when studies exhibit heterogeneity, without messing with individual study weights (as the random effects model does). The second allows incorporating information on study quality into the analysis, thereby affording the opportunity for reduction in estimator variance beyond that of the IVhet model. Much of the heterogeneity between study results is  explained by differences in study quality, and it is preferable to make use of this information explicitly.

Using Excel as a platform makes MetaXL-based meta-analysis highly accessible. And you can’t beat the price!


Supports fixed effects (inverse variance, Mantel Haenszel, Peto), random effects (DerSimonian & Laird), inverse variance heterogeneity (Doi et al) and quality effects (Doi & Thalib) models.

Both binary (relative risk, odds ratio, risk difference, prevalence) and continuous (weighted mean difference, Cohen’s d, Hedges’ g, Glasss’s Δ) methods.

Heterogeneity statistics: Cochran’s Q, I2.

Subgroup analysis

Multiple category pooled prevalence

Output in table and graphical formats.

Supports both 32 and 64 bit Excel.

Product Summary

MetaXL is an add-in for meta-analysis in Microsoft Excel for Windows. It supports all  major meta-analysis methods, plus, uniquely, the inverse variance heterogeneity and quality effects models. Output is in table and graphical formats.

Price: Free


MetaXL Setup

MetaXL User Guide

The User Guide is included in the installation download.

MetaXL publications

Workshop on Health Economic Evaluation

The School of Public Health,  University of Queensland, conducts an annual five-day workshop on Health Economic Evaluation, featuring MetaXL for meta-analysis.

For details download the workshop flyer

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