Simultaneous synthesis of treatment effects and mapping to a common scale: An alternative to standardisation

A. E. Ades, Guobing Lu, Sofia Dias, Evan Mayo-Wilson, Daphne Kounali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: Trials often may report several similar outcomes measured on different test instruments. We explored a method for synthesising treatment effect information both within and between trials and for reporting treatment effects on a common scale as an alternative to standardisation Study design: We applied a procedure that simultaneously estimates a pooled treatment effect and the "mapping" ratios between the treatment effects on test instruments in a connected network. Standardised and non-standardised treatment effects were compared. The methods were illustrated in a dataset of 22 trials of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors against placebo for social anxiety disorder, each reporting treatment effects on between one and six of a total nine test instruments. Results: Ratios of treatment effects on different test instruments varied from trial to trial, with a coefficient of variation of 18% (95% credible interval 11-29%). Standardised effect models fitted the data less well, and standardised treatment effects were estimated with less relative precision than non-standardised effects and with greater relative heterogeneity. Conclusion: Simultaneous synthesis of treatment effects and mapping to a common scale make fewer assumptions than standardising by dividing effects by the sample standard deviation, allow results to be reported on a common scale, and deliver estimates with superior relative precision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-107
Number of pages12
JournalResearch Synthesis Methods
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Evidence synthesis
  • Mapping
  • Multiple outcomes
  • Social anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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