Simultaneous synthesis of treatment effects and mapping to a common scale: an alternative to standardisation

A E Ades, Guobing Lu, Sofia Dias, Evan Mayo-Wilson, Daphne-Zacharenia Kounali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

9 Citations (Scopus)
298 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Trials often may report several similar outcomes measured on different test instruments. We explored a method for synthesising treatment effect information both within and between trials and for reporting treatment effects on a common scale as an alternative to standardisation

STUDY DESIGN: We applied a procedure that simultaneously estimates a pooled treatment effect and the "mapping" ratios between the treatment effects on test instruments in a connected network. Standardised and non-standardised treatment effects were compared. The methods were illustrated in a dataset of 22 trials of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors against placebo for social anxiety disorder, each reporting treatment effects on between one and six of a total nine test instruments.

RESULTS: Ratios of treatment effects on different test instruments varied from trial to trial, with a coefficient of variation of 18% (95% credible interval 11-29%). Standardised effect models fitted the data less well, and standardised treatment effects were estimated with less relative precision than non-standardised effects and with greater relative heterogeneity.

CONCLUSION: Simultaneous synthesis of treatment effects and mapping to a common scale make fewer assumptions than standardising by dividing effects by the sample standard deviation, allow results to be reported on a common scale, and deliver estimates with superior relative precision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-107
Number of pages12
JournalResearch Synthesis Methods
Volume6
Issue number1
Early online date23 Jan 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • evidence synthesis
  • multiple outcomes
  • mapping
  • social anxiety

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