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Multiple outcomes multivariate meta-analysis (MOMA) is gaining in popularity as a tool for jointly synthesizing evidence coming from studies that report effect estimates for multiple correlated outcomes. Models for MOMA are available for the case of the pairwise meta-analysis of two treatments for multiple outcomes. Network meta-analysis (NMA) can be used for handling studies that compare more than two treatments; however, there is currently little guidance on how to perform an MOMA for the case of a network of interventions with multiple outcomes. The aim of this paper is to address this issue by proposing two models for synthesizing evidence from multi-arm studies reporting on multiple correlated outcomes for networks of competing treatments. Our models can handle continuous, binary, time-to-event or mixed outcomes, with or without availability of within-study correlations. They are set in a Bayesian framework to allow flexibility in fitting and assigning prior distributions to the parameters of interest while fully accounting for parameter uncertainty. As an illustrative example, we use a network of interventions for acute mania, which contains multi-arm studies reporting on two correlated binary outcomes: response rate and dropout rate. Both multiple-outcomes NMA models produce narrower confidence intervals compared with independent, univariate network meta-analyses for each outcome and have an impact on the relative ranking of the treatments.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/biostatistics/kxu030

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biostatistics

Publication Date

01/2015

Volume

16

Pages

84 - 97

Keywords

Correlation, Heterogeneity, Mixed-treatment comparison, Multivariate meta-analysis, Bipolar Disorder, Data Interpretation, Statistical, Humans, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Models, Statistical, Multivariate Analysis, Outcome Assessment (Health Care)