Projects per year
We investigated the associations between risk of bias judgments from Cochrane reviews for sequence generation, allocation concealment and blinding and between-trial heterogeneity.
Study Design and Setting
Bayesian hierarchical models were fitted to binary data from 117 meta-analyses, to estimate the ratio λ by which heterogeneity changes for trials at high/unclear risk of bias, compared to trials at low risk of bias. We estimated the proportion of between-trial heterogeneity in each meta-analysis that could be explained by the bias associated with specific design characteristics.
Univariable analyses showed that heterogeneity variances were, on average, increased among trials at high/unclear risk of bias for sequence generation (Math Eq 1.14, 95% interval: 0.57 to 2.30) and blinding (Math Eq 1.74, 95% interval: 0.85 to 3.47). Trials at high/unclear risk of bias for allocation concealment were on average less heterogeneous (Math Eq 0.75, 95% interval: 0.35 to 1.61). Multivariable analyses showed that a median of 37% (95% interval: 0% to 71%) heterogeneity variance could be explained by trials at high/unclear risk of bias for sequence generation, allocation concealment and/or blinding. All 95% intervals for changes in heterogeneity were wide and included the null of no difference.
Our interpretation of the results is limited by imprecise estimates. There is some indication that between-trial heterogeneity could be partially explained by reported design characteristics, and hence adjustment for bias could potentially improve accuracy of meta-analysis results.
- Sequence generation
- Allocation concealment
- Randomized trials
12/08/15 → 11/08/19
1/05/15 → 31/10/16
- Bristol Medical School (PHS) - Senior Lecturer in Evidence Synthesis
- Bristol Population Health Science Institute
- NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West (NIHR ARC West)
Person: Academic , Member