A generalised linear modelling framework for pairwise and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

This paper sets out a generalised linear model (GLM) framework for the synthesis of data from randomised controlled trials (RCTs). We describe a common model taking the form of a linear regression for both fixed and random effects synthesis, that can be implemented with Normal, Binomial, Poisson, an...

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Main Authors: Dias, Sofia, Welton, Nicky J. (Author), Sutton, A. J. (Author), Ades, A. E. (Author)
Corporate Author: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Great Britain) Decision Support Unit
Format: eBook
Language:English
Published: London National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 2014, April 2014
Edition:Updated
Series:NICE DSU technical support document
Subjects:
Online Access:
Collection: National Center for Biotechnology Information - Collection details see MPG.ReNa
Summary:This paper sets out a generalised linear model (GLM) framework for the synthesis of data from randomised controlled trials (RCTs). We describe a common model taking the form of a linear regression for both fixed and random effects synthesis, that can be implemented with Normal, Binomial, Poisson, and Multinomial data. The familiar logistic model for meta- analysis with Binomial data is a GLM with a logit link function, which is appropriate for probability outcomes. The same linear regression framework can be applied to continuous outcomes, rate models, competing risks, or ordered category outcomes, by using other link functions, such as identity, log, complementary log-log, and probit link functions. The common core model for the linear predictor can be applied to pair-wise meta-analysis, indirect comparisons, synthesis of multi-arm trials, and mixed treatment comparisons, also known as network meta-analysis, without distinction. We take a Bayesian approach to estimation and provide WinBUGS program code for a Bayesian analysis using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation. An advantage of this approach is that it is straightforward to extend to shared parameter models where different RCTs report outcomes in different formats but from a common underlying model. Use of the GLM framework allows us to present a unified account of how models can be compared using the Deviance Information Criterion (DIC), and how goodness of fit can be assessed using the residual deviance. WinBUGS code for model critique is provided. Our approach is illustrated through a range of worked examples for the commonly encountered evidence formats, including shared parameter models. We give suggestions on computational issues that sometimes arise in MCMC evidence synthesis, and comment briefly on alternative software
Physical Description:1 PDF file (98 pages) illustrations