Multiple treatment comparison meta-analyses: A step forward into complexity

Edward J. Mills, Nick Bansback, Isabella Ghement, Kristian Thorlund, Steven Kelly, Milo A. Puhan, James Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The use of meta-analysis has become increasingly useful for clinical and policy decision making. A recent development in meta-analysis, multiple treatment comparison (MTC) meta-analysis, provides inferences on the comparative effectiveness of interventions that may have never been directly evaluated in clinical trials. This new approach may be confusing for clinicians and methodologists and raises specific challenges relevant to certain areas of medicine. This article addresses the methodological concepts of MTC meta-analysis, including issues of heterogeneity, choice of model, and adequacy of sample sizes. We address domain-specific challenges relevant to disciplines of medicine, including baseline risks of patient populations. We conclude that MTC meta-analysis is a useful tool in the context of comparative effectiveness and requires further study, as its utility and transparency will likely predict its uptake by the research and clinical community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Epidemiology
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Meta-analysis
  • Mixed treatment comparison
  • Multiple treatment comparison
  • Network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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  • Cite this

    Mills, E. J., Bansback, N., Ghement, I., Thorlund, K., Kelly, S., Puhan, M. A., & Wright, J. (2011). Multiple treatment comparison meta-analyses: A step forward into complexity. Clinical Epidemiology, 3(1), 193-202. https://doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S16526