We can help you to:
- Define your research question
- Develop a review protocol to ensure that the review will help you to answer those questions.
- Undertake extensive literature searches to ensure all studies relevant to the review question and the NMA are identified
- Assess the risk of bias of the individual trials
- Extract the relevant data required to assess the feasibility of a NMA and to inform any subsequent statistical analyses
A key assumption when conducting a NMA is that the trials in the network do not differ in any characteristics that may impact the treatment effect.
We consider the similarity of key characteristics of the trials in relation to:
- Trial design/methodology
- Patient characteristics at baseline
- Treatments received
- Outcomes reported
We also consider the availability of outcome data for each outcome of interest in each of the trials. Based on the data available, we can then determine whether a connected network can be made for each outcome of interest.
We can conduct network meta-analyses, through our partnership with Quantics, to compare the efficacy, safety or tolerability of two or more treatments. We can help with simple NMA as well as more complex network meta-regressions and we can advise you on the best methods to use for the data available.
Critiquing an NMA
We have extensive experience of assessing the quality of both peer-reviewed publications and health technology assessment submissions. In conjunction with Quantics, we can appraise all aspects of systematic reviews and NMA.
The quality of published NMAs is highly variable. Quantics and YHEC can help you to answer questions such as:
- Are the search terms and search resources appropriate to ensure that as many relevant trials as possible will have been identified?
- Have the data been correctly extracted from the publications?
- Has the similarity of the trials been considered before combining them in a network?
- Have the most appropriate statistical methods been used to conduct the NMA?
- Are the published results reproducible?
- Have the results been correctly interpreted?