Network meta-analysis: an introduction for pharmacists
Network meta-analysis is a new tool used to summarize and compare studies for multiple interventions, irrespective of whether these interventions have been directly evaluated against each other. Network meta-analysis is quickly becoming the standard in conducting therapeutic reviews and clinical guideline development. However, little guidance is available to help pharmacists review network meta-analysis studies in their practice. Major institutions such as the Cochrane Collaboration, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Decision Support Unit have endorsed utilizing network meta-analysis to establish therapeutic evidence and inform decision making. Our objective is to introduce this novel technique to pharmacy practitioners, and highlight key assumptions behind network meta-analysis studies.
KeywordsEvidence based medicine Evidence synthesis Indirect treatment comparisons Meta-analysis Multiple treatment comparisons Network meta-analysis Methodology Systematic review
Conflicts of interest
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