Conducting Indirect-Treatment-Comparison and Network-Meta-Analysis Studies: Report of the ISPOR Task Force on Indirect Treatment Comparisons Good Research Practices: Part 2

David C. Hoaglin*, Neil Hawkins, Jeroen P. Jansen, David A. Scott, Robbin Itzler, Joseph C. Cappelleri, Cornelis Boersma, David Thompson, Kay M. Larholt, Mireya Diaz, Annabel Barrett

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Abstract

    Evidence-based health care decision making requires comparison of all relevant competing interventions. In the absence of randomized controlled trials involving a direct comparison of all treatments of interest, indirect treatment comparisons and network meta-analysis provide useful evidence for judiciously selecting the best treatment(s). Mixed treatment comparisons, a special case of network meta-analysis, combine direct evidence and indirect evidence for particular pairwise comparisons, thereby synthesizing a greater share of the available evidence than traditional meta-analysis. This report from the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research Indirect Treatment Comparisons Good Research Practices Task Force provides guidance on technical aspects of conducting network meta-analyses (our use of this term includes most methods that involve meta-analysis in the context of a network of evidence). We start with a discussion of strategies for developing networks of evidence. Next we briefly review assumptions of network meta-analysis. Then we focus on the statistical analysis of the data: objectives, models (fixed-effects and random-effects), frequentist versus Bayesian approaches, and model validation. A checklist highlights key components of network meta-analysis, and substantial examples illustrate indirect treatment comparisons (both frequentist and Bayesian approaches) and network meta-analysis. A further section discusses eight key areas for future research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)429-437
    Number of pages9
    JournalValue in Health
    Volume14
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun-2011

    Keywords

    • Bayesian meta-analysis
    • direct treatment comparison
    • evidence network
    • frequentist meta-analysis
    • heterogeneity
    • inconsistency
    • indirect treatment comparison
    • mixed treatment comparison
    • MIXED TREATMENT COMPARISONS
    • RANDOM-EFFECTS METAANALYSIS
    • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIALS
    • INDIVIDUAL PATIENT DATA
    • SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS
    • ECOLOGICAL BIAS
    • HETEROGENEITY
    • OUTCOMES
    • REGRESSION
    • LEVEL

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