Stata, a statistical software package by StataCorp, boasts an impressive suite of meta-analysis features. **metan** is the Stata module for fixed and random effects meta-analysis. **metafunnel** “plots funnel plots: graphical displays used to examine whether the results of a meta-analysis may have been affected by publication or other types of bias.” These two commands did not come with Stata 10 by default; users of this and a number of subsequent versions of Stata have to download and install these user-written meta-analysis commands themselves.

Below is a summary of how I installed metan and metafunnel in Stata 10. Depending on your version of Stata, YMMV.

I essentially used the guide available in Chapter 18 of *Systematic Reviews in Health Care: Meta-Analysis in Context, 2nd Edition* “Meta-analysis in Stata”, by Sterne, Bradburn, and Egger, but with some small changes and additions which I will outline below.

**Step 1:** Update your installation of Stata.

. update all

**Step 2:** Install the user-written commands, e.g. metan, metafunnel.

I installed the commands from within Stata, i.e.

`Help → SJ and User-written Programs → STB`

You will see a list of commands associated with Stata Technical Bulletins (stb). I simply followed the instructions found in Sterne et al.’s guide:

I found that, in my installation of Stata, the packages had an underscore, e.g. sbe24_1, instead of a decimal point, e.g. sbe24.1.

In addition, I installed the following metafunnel command within Stata by typing:

. ssc install metafunnel

This command enables creation of funnel plots with pseudo 95% confidence limits.

**Step 3:** Check for updated versions or new commands:

. update all

. search metan

Having performed the steps above, I was unable to use the metan command to perform a fixed and random-effects meta-analysis. The problem was an old version of metan, specifically metan 1.0! You can check your version of metan:

. which metan

To update the version of metan, simply enter the following command on the Stata command line:

. ssc install metaaggr, all replace

Completing this last step enabled me to conduct a fixed and random-effects meta-analysis.

The steps above should not take longer than 5 minutes. Enjoy!

I says

Thank you so much. My version of STATA stubbornly refused the commands I was entering!

Andy Teh says

Glad the article helped to solve your problem with Stata. Sometimes, it takes some trial and error and/or Googling. If those things don’t work, I’ll be happy to assist. 🙂

JosephY says

Hi,

I would like to thank you too. Thank you so much. My Stata also consistently rejected commands. The whole thing was to click “update all.” I have never thought the answer would be this easy.

Eric Ikonne says

Hello,

I tried all of these things, and STATA wont recognize the command. r199 keeps coming up and I have updated everything and added all the new commands.

shafi says

Hello, I have installed the metan commands but how can i install follwoing commands

metacum

metainf

metabias

metareg

please guide me

Dr Shafi

Andy Teh says

@Dr Shafi – The information you’re seeking is found in Step 2 above. For example, to install

`metacum`

, first click on the “Help” tab within Stata, followed by “SJ and User-written Programs”, and then “STB”. Click onstb42, and thensbe22. You should be done!lumen says

Hello,

Thanks for the info, though Im new to stata, I have always done analysis in SPSS, but recently need to perform a meta analysis. Any info to guide me through this especially being new to all the commands?

thanks

Andy Teh says

@lumen – I’m familiar with Stata but not SPSS. I’ve found short courses in Stata quite useful because the learning is guided and you are able to get feedback – see https://www.stata.com/learn/ . There are books on using Stata but I have rarely found them of much help.

Kyoungjune says

Hello,

I have followed as your recommendation.

However, I can still see the sign of “unrecognized command”.

What might be the problem?

Andy Teh says

@Kyoungjune – It could be related to a later version of Stata – the instructions above apply to Stata 10.

paolo says

great !! thanks a lot

Ulrich says

Dear Andy Teh,

I have followed the steps as you mentioned. I have the metan 1.0 version (*! version 1.0 5May98 STB-44 sbe24). When I try to write ‘scc install metaaggr, all replace’ command, my STATA says:

“scc install metaaggr, all replace

unrecognized command: scc

r(199);”

I have a MacBook, but the STATA version i fully compatible. Do you know why the command does not work?

Andy Teh says

@Ulrich – I’m not sure if the problem is due to your version of Stata (I used version 10) or the fact you’re on a Mac operating system (I use Linux), or something else. The steps above have generally been replicable by those with the same setup as mine.

K.Asmare says

Thanks a lot for the advice! I followed the steps and updated the stata 12 I am using. However, in meta regression analysis, the output doesn’t give the following results:-

-REML estimate of between study variance

-The between study variance explained (Adj-R squared)

-Joint test for all covariates.

Lima says

Thanks a lot for this very helpful advice! Worked perfectly for me!

R says

You are a HERO! This needs to be repeated- You sir, are a HERO! Thanks a ton! 😀

Ching SM says

Andy Teh,

You are super.

How to run metaregression?

Fabiano Timbó Barbosa says

Dr Andy Teh

I need to run metaregression. I tried sometimes, but I have no success.

I believe that I do not know how to insert data in STATA. Could you send me one picture or a guide showing how I can do this?

Thank you

Nicole says

I am so so thankful for your great summary. You saved my life 🙂

Diep says

Hi, I am using stata from server of the UNSW. I need to run stata on my computer but it seems it not allow me to install. Could you please show me the way to install it? I found last time that I need to change the directory but I forgot. Thanks for your help!

Andy Teh says

@Diep – I’m sorry I don’t provide support for the installation of Stata. I suggest you reach out to your university’s IT Department for help.