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Protocols for meta-analysis of intervention safety seldom specified methods to deal with rare events

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journal contribution
submitted on 2023-09-28, 11:28 and posted on 2023-09-28, 13:09 authored by You Zhou, Bo Zhu, Lifeng Lin, Joey S.W. Kwong, Chang Xu

Objectives

Meta-analyses of rare events often generate unstable results, and selective reporting of the results may mislead the health care decision. Developing a synthesis plan for rare events in protocol may help to formulate the reporting. We aim to investigate whether existing protocols specified methods to deal with rare events.

Study Design and Setting

Protocols (not including Cochrane protocols) for systematic reviews of health care interventions focused on the safety registered in PROSPERO were included. The proportion of protocols that specified methods to deal with rare events and the detailed methods were summarized. We compared the difference of proportions (PD) across different settings.

Results

We identified 1,004 eligible protocols, of which, 119 (11.85%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 9.92%, 14.01%) specified methods to deal with rare events. The three most commonly planned methods were the Mantel–Haenszel, Peto's odds ratio, and continuity correction. Protocols planned a quantitative analysis (PD = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.12; P = 0.004) and listed safety as a primary outcome (PD = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.12; P = 0.018) were more likely to specify methods to deal with rare events.

Conclusion

Protocols for systematic reviews of intervention safety seldom specified methods to deal with rare events. Future systematic reviewers should provide a detailed and rigorous synthesis plan for rare events in their protocols.

Other Information

Published in: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
See article on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2020.09.023

Funding

Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

Elsevier BV

Publication Year

  • 2020

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • Qatar University Health - QU
  • College of Medicine - QU HEALTH

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