Combining follow-up and change data is valid in meta-analyses of continuous outcomes: a meta-epidemiological study

Da Costa, Bruno R; Nüesch, Eveline; Rutjes, Anne W; Johnston, Bradley C; Reichenbach, Stephan; Trelle, Sven; Guyatt, Gordon H; Jüni, Peter (2013). Combining follow-up and change data is valid in meta-analyses of continuous outcomes: a meta-epidemiological study. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 66(8), pp. 847-55. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.03.009

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OBJECTIVE To investigate whether it is valid to combine follow-up and change data when conducting meta-analyses of continuous outcomes. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING Meta-epidemiological study of randomized controlled trials in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee/hip, which assessed patient-reported pain. We calculated standardized mean differences (SMDs) based on follow-up and change data, and pooled within-trial differences in SMDs. We also derived pooled SMDs indicating the largest treatment effect within a trial (optimistic selection of SMDs) and derived pooled SMDs from the estimate indicating the smallest treatment effect within a trial (pessimistic selection of SMDs). RESULTS A total of 21 meta-analyses with 189 trials with 292 randomized comparisons in 41,256 patients were included. On average, SMDs were 0.04 standard deviation units more beneficial when follow-up values were used (difference in SMDs: -0.04; 95% confidence interval: -0.13, 0.06; P=0.44). In 13 meta-analyses (62%), there was a relevant difference in clinical and/or significance level between optimistic and pessimistic pooled SMDs. CONCLUSION On average, there is no relevant difference between follow-up and change data SMDs, and combining these estimates in meta-analysis is generally valid. Decision on which type of data to use when both follow-up and change data are available should be prespecified in the meta-analysis protocol.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > CTU Bern

UniBE Contributor:

Da Costa, Bruno; Nüesch, Eveline; Rutjes, Anne; Reichenbach, Stephan; Trelle, Sven and Jüni, Peter

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

0895-4356

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

08 Feb 2014 09:46

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 07:37

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.03.009

PubMed ID:

23747228

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.41066

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/41066

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