Network meta-analysis is a statistical method using both direct and indirect evidence (conventionally from randomised controlled trials) to estimate the comparative efficacy and/or safety of a number of interventions with each another. A network meta analysis will usually contain multiple treatments and multiple sources of evidence. Typically a systematic review is used to assemble all trial evidence for efficacy/safety of the interventions of interest in the population/condition and outcome measure of interest into an evidence network that will inform the network meta analysis. At this stage the comparability of populations, duration, outcome definitions and the feasibility of the statistical analysis for the network meta analysis is assessed. The reported differences in the outcome measure between interventions (and corresponding measure of uncertainty) in each trial are combined using Monte-Carlo Markov chain methods. In this way the benefit of randomisation in each source study is preserved when undertaking the network meta analysis.
How to cite: Network Meta-Analysis (NMA) [online]. (2016). York; York Health Economics Consortium; 2016. https://yhec.co.uk/glossary/network-meta-analysis-nma/