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Meta-analysis of continuous outcome data from individual patients.

Higgins, JP; Whitehead, A; Turner, RM; Omar, RZ; Thompson, SG; (2001) Meta-analysis of continuous outcome data from individual patients. Stat Med , 20 (15) pp. 2219-2241. 10.1002/sim.918.

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Abstract

Meta-analyses using individual patient data are becoming increasingly common and have several advantages over meta-analyses of summary statistics. We explore the use of multilevel or hierarchical models for the meta-analysis of continuous individual patient outcome data from clinical trials. A general framework is developed which encompasses traditional meta-analysis, as well as meta-regression and the inclusion of patient-level covariates for investigation of heterogeneity. Unexplained variation in treatment differences between trials is considered as random. We focus on models with fixed trial effects, although an extension to a random effect for trial is described. The methods are illustrated on an example in Alzheimer's disease in a classical framework using SAS PROC MIXED and MLwiN, and in a Bayesian framework using BUGS. Relative merits of the three software packages for such meta-analyses are discussed, as are the assessment of model assumptions and extensions to incorporate more than two treatments.

Type: Article
Title: Meta-analysis of continuous outcome data from individual patients.
Location: England
DOI: 10.1002/sim.918
Keywords: Alzheimer Disease, Bayes Theorem, Cholinesterase Inhibitors, Cognition, Humans, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Models, Biological, Models, Statistical, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Regression Analysis, Tacrine, Treatment Outcome
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Statistical Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1345765
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