Inter‐study differences: How should they influence the interpretation and analysis of results?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

In determining the role inter‐study variation should play in an overview analysis, it is important to consider three factors: (1) which question one is trying to answer; (2) the degree of similarity or dissimilarity of design, and (3) the degree to which heterogeneity of outcomes can be explained. Three questions one might be interested in are: (1) whether treatment can be effective in some circumstances; (2) whether treatment is effective on average, and (3) whether treatment was effective on average in the trials at hand. Under the assumption of no qualitative interaction, the answers to these questions coincide. The O – E analysis most directly answers the third question. Other analyses are suggested when the first question is of interest, using the aspirin post‐MI studies as an example.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalStatistics in Medicine
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

Keywords

  • Heterogeneity
  • Interaction
  • Random effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics and Probability

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