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Table 1 Decisions of the 8 reviewers based on the 6 systematic reviews with meta-analyses presented to them.

From: The interpretation of systematic reviews with meta-analyses: an objective or subjective process?

# RCTS 1 1–3 1–5 1–10 1–20 1–23
N 111 415 597 3685 63047 69505
Fixed OR N/a 0.40 (0.19–0.83) 0.40 (0.28–0.61) 0.64 (0.52–0.79) 1.02 (0.96–1.08) 1.01 (0.96–1.07)
Rand OR N/a 0.40 (0.18–0.86) 0.38 (0.21–0.66) 0.66 (0.53–0.81) 0.65 (0.48–0.87) 0.75 (0.61–0.92)
I2 N/a 0% 0% 21% 59% 59%
I believe magnesium has now been shown to be beneficial for patients during the post-MI period
(C) Disagree Unsure Unsure Disagree Disagree Disagree
(C) Strongly Disagree Unsure Unsure Unsure Disagree Strongly Disagree
(P) Strongly Disagree Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree
(P) Agree Agree Strongly Agree Strongly Agree Strongly Agree Agree
(P) Strongly Disagree Strongly Disagree Disagree Unsure Agree Agree
(P) Unsure Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree
(NP) Strongly Disagree Disagree Disagree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
(N) Unsure Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree
I believe magnesium will eventually be shown to be beneficial for patients during the post-MI period
(C) Agree Agree Agree Agree Unsure Disagree
(C) Unsure Unsure Unsure Unsure Strongly Disagree Strongly Disagree
(P) Unsure Agree Agree Strongly Agree Agree Agree
(P) Agree Strongly Agree Strongly Agree Strongly Agree Strongly Agree Agree
(P) Strongly Disagree Strongly Disagree Disagree Unsure Agree Agree
(P) Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree
(NP) Unsure Unsure Unsure Agree Unsure Disagree
(N) Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree Agree
I recommend that magnesium therapy be used in patients during the post-MI period
(C) No No No No No No
(C) No No No No No No
(P) No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
(P) No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
(P) No No No No No No
(P) No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
(NP) No No No Yes No No
(N) No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
  1. C: cardiologist, P: other physician, NP: non-practicing physician, N: non-physician
  2. Each column contains the answers from different meta-analyses based on the number of randomized trials provided (top row). The total number of subjects in each of the meta-analyses is shown in the second row; the overall fixed effects odds ratio (OR) and random effects OR shown to the reviewers are given in rows 3 and 4 (the first trial only examined infarct size and there is no OR for mortality); and the I2 value for heterogeneity is shown in row 5. There were three errors that were discovered after some reviewers had answered questions. The differences in the overall effect estimates were relatively minor and would not be expected to alter the responses by our reviewers. To remain transparent, we provide the numbers provided to the reviewers in this table, and the corrected numbers in Figure 1. The results for each question asked are shown in the subsequent rows. The choices for the first two questions were strongly disagree to strongly agree, and the choices for the third question were yes or no. In addition to the range of interpretations for any one meta-analysis, reviewer 3 moved from unsure to strongly disagree over the 6 meta-analyses for the second question whereas reviewer 7 moved in the opposite direction from strongly disagree to agree.