a) What is a metaanalysis?
b) What is the role of metaanalysis in evidence based medicine?
c) What are the features you look for in a metaanalysis to determine if it has been well conducted?
College Answer
a) A form of systematic review that uses statistical methods to combine the results from different studies
b) roles:
1. 
↑ statistical power by ↑ sample size 

2. 
Resolve uncertainty when studies disagree 

3. 
Improve estimates of effect size 

4. 
Establish questions for future PRCTs 

c) 

1. 
Are the research questions defined clearly? 

2. 
Are the search strategy and inclusion criteria described? 

3. 
How did they assess the quality of studies? 

4. 
Have they plotted the results? 

5. 
Have they inspected the data for heterogeneity? 

6. 
How have they calculated a pooled estimate? 

7. 
Have they looked for publication bias? 
Discussion
This question  though not entirely identical  is very similar to Question 5 from the second paper of 2013. The key difference is the inclusion of the nebulous question about the role of metaanalysis in EBM. In the later paper, this was focused specifically on the advantages of metaanalysis over the analysis of a single study. If one compares the above answer to (b) with the answer (b) in Question 5, one will discover similarities, which suggests that the college was looking for a list of advantages here as well.
Thus, much of the below is a direct copy of Question 5.
a) What is a metaanalysis?
Metaanalysis is a tool of quantitative systematic review.
It is used to weigh the available evidence from RCTs and other studies based on the numbers of patients included, the effect size, and on statistical tests of agreement with other trials.
b) What is the role of metaanalysis in evidence based medicine?
 It offers an objective quantitative appraisal of evidence
 It reduces the probability of false negative results
 The combination of samples leads to an improvement of statistical power
 Increased sample size may increase the accuracy of the estimate
 It may explain heterogeneity between the results of different studies
 Inconsistencies among trials may be quantified and analysed
c) What are the features you look for in a metaanalysis to determine if it has been well conducted?
 Research questions clearly defined
 Transparent search strategy
 Thorough search protocol
 Authors contacted and unpublished data collected
 Definition of inclusion and exclusion criteria for studies
 Sensible exclusion and inclusion criteria
 Assessment of methodological quality of the included studies
 Transparent methodology of assessment
 Calculation of a pooled estimate
 Plot of the results (Forest Plot)
 Measurement of heterogeneity
 Assessment of publication bias (Funnel Plot)
 Reproduceable metaanalysis strategy (eg. multiple reviewers perform the same metaanalysis, according to the same methods)
References
Sauerland, Stefan, and Christoph M. Seiler. "Role of systematic reviews and metaanalysis in evidencebased medicine." World journal of surgery 29.5 (2005): 582587.
DerSimonian, Rebecca, and Nan Laird. "Metaanalysis in clinical trials."Controlled clinical trials 7.3 (1986): 177188.
Rockette, H. E., and C. K. Redmond. "Limitations and advantages of metaanalysis in clinical trials." Cancer Clinical Trials. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1988. 99104.
Walker, Esteban, Adrian V. Hernandez, and Michael W. Kattan. "Metaanalysis: Its strengths and limitations." Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine75.6 (2008): 431439.
Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews