Epidemiology characteristics, methodological assessment and reporting of statistical analysis of network meta-analyses in the field of cancer

Long Ge, Jin-hui Tian, Xiu-xia Li, Fujian Song, Lun Li, Jun Zhang, Ge Li, Gai-qin Pei, Xia Qiu, Ke-hu Yang

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Abstract

Because of the methodological complexity of network meta-analyses (NMAs), NMAs may be more vulnerable to methodological risks than conventional pair-wise meta-analysis. Our study aims to investigate epidemiology characteristics, conduction of literature search, methodological quality and reporting of statistical analysis process in the field of cancer based on PRISMA extension statement and modified AMSTAR checklist. We identified and included 102 NMAs in the field of cancer. 61 NMAs were conducted using a Bayesian framework. Of them, more than half of NMAs did not report assessment of convergence (60.66%). Inconsistency was assessed in 27.87% of NMAs. Assessment of heterogeneity in traditional meta-analyses was more common (42.62%) than in NMAs (6.56%). Most of NMAs did not report assessment of similarity (86.89%) and did not used GRADE tool to assess quality of evidence (95.08%). 43 NMAs were adjusted indirect comparisons, the methods used were described in 53.49% NMAs. Only 4.65% NMAs described the details of handling of multi group trials and 6.98% described the methods of similarity assessment. The median total AMSTAR-score was 8.00 (IQR: 6.00-8.25). Methodological quality and reporting of statistical analysis did not substantially differ by selected general characteristics. Overall, the quality of NMAs in the field of cancer was generally acceptable.
Original languageEnglish
Article number37208
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
Issue number37208
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2016

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