Beyond classical meta-analysis: can inadequately reported studies be included?

C. Robertson, N.R. Nik Idris, P. Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Classical meta-analysis requires the same data from each clinical trial, thus data-reporting must be of a high-quality. Imputation methods are used to include studies that provide incomplete information on variability and the fixed and random effects of a drug. Regression models can be used to include studies other than randomized placebo-controlled studies. In the example outlined here, the use of non-randomized single-arm studies and studies against comparator treatments has little influence on the estimation of the treatment effect in comparison with placebo, an effect that is based on the randomized placebo-controlled studies. The inclusion of other studies serves to increase the precision of the effect of the treatment compared with baseline. Although multiple imputation techniques enable a larger number of studies to be included, which will typically increase the precision of the estimated effect, a careful sensitivity analysis is also required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)924-931
Number of pages7
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • drugs
  • clinical trials
  • regression models
  • statistics
  • health


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