John E. Cornell, PhD
Disclosures: Authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M15-0930.
Requests for Single Reprints: John E. Cornell, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Merton Minter Boulevard, San Antonio, TX 78299; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cornell J.; The PRISMA Extension for Network Meta-analysis: Bringing Clarity and Guidance to the Reporting of Systematic Reviews Incorporating Network Meta-analyses. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:797-798. doi: 10.7326/M15-0930
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(11):797-798.
Systematic reviews that examine comparative effectiveness among competing interventions need to summarize evidence on the basis of indirect comparison of each intervention against a common comparator (placebo or usual care), along with direct evidence from a few studies that provide head-to-head comparisons. Network meta-analysis allows a flexible and powerful system to visualize and statistically combine indirect comparisons with evidence from direct comparisons across several competing interventions. The basic arithmetic underlying network meta-analysis is deceptively simple, but the essential assumptions that support its computational and conceptual validity are less easily understood outside the methodological community.
The much-anticipated PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) extension statement for reporting systematic reviews that incorporate network meta-analyses provides a reporting checklist for those who undertake, review, and evaluate systematic reviews that summarize comparisons among competing interventions (1). Checklist items include modifications to original PRISMA items for network meta-analysis, as well as 5 new items specific to issues and methods in network meta-analysis (items S1 to S5). Careful explanations and elaborations of these modified and new checklist items are also included, contributing to the length and complexity of the article. Hutton and colleagues (1) provide clear, concise definitions for and application of the novel concepts and methods involved in the application and assessment of a network meta-analysis. The extension provides a framework that will enhance completeness and transparency to the conduct and reporting results from a network meta-analysis.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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