Is network meta-analysis as valid as standard pairwise meta-analysis? It all depends on the distribution of effect modifiers.

//, Research/Is network meta-analysis as valid as standard pairwise meta-analysis? It all depends on the distribution of effect modifiers.

Is network meta-analysis as valid as standard pairwise meta-analysis? It all depends on the distribution of effect modifiers.

2017-07-04T17:58:07+00:00 July 4th, 2013|Publications, Research|

In the last decade, network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials has been introduced as an extension of pairwise meta-analysis. The advantage of network meta-analysis over standard pairwise meta-analysis is that it facilitates indirect comparisons of multiple interventions that have not been studied in a head-to-head fashion. Although assumptions underlying pairwise meta-analyses are well understood, those concerning network meta-analyses are perceived to be more complex and prone to misinterpretation. In this paper, we aim to provide a basic explanation when network meta-analysis is as valid as pairwise meta-analysis. We focus on the primary role of effect modifiers, which are study and patient characteristics associated with treatment effects.

Source: BMC Medicine