This is an archived version. For the current version, please go to  Ensure that there are adequate studies to justify subgroup analyses and meta-regressions

It is very unlikely that an investigation of heterogeneity will produce useful findings unless there is a substantial number of studies. It is worth noting the typical advice for undertaking simple regression analyses: that at least ten observations (i.e. ten studies in a meta-analysis) should be available for each characteristic modelled. However, even this will be too few when the covariates are unevenly distributed.