8.8.2.1  Graphing results according to risk of bias

The discussion that follows applies both individual bias domains and to risk of bias summarized at the study level (see Section 8.7). Plots of intervention effect estimates (e.g. forest plots) stratified according to risk of bias are likely to be a useful way to begin examining the potential for bias to affect the results of a meta-analysis. Forest plots ordered by judgements on each ‘Risk of bias’ entry are available in RevMan 5. Such plots give a visual impression both of the relative contributions of the studies at low, unclear and high risk of bias, and also of the extent of differences in intervention effect estimates between studies at low, unclear and high risk of bias. It will usually be sensible to restrict such plots to key bias domains (see Section 8.7).