Advances in statistical methods for the health sciences : by Jean-Louis Auget; et al

By Jean-Louis Auget; et al

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Extra info for Advances in statistical methods for the health sciences : applications to cancer and AIDS studies, genome sequence analysis, and survival analysis

Example text

2 Checking the data Obtaining individual patient data from each collaborating group opens a new phase of the study. It is essential also to gain a full understanding about how each study was carried out, including details of methods of measurement and coding of key variables. These simple steps mask several common difficulties, so that checking all the data sets can be a very slow process. Even the simplest data checking procedures may reveal inconsistencies that would otherwise have gone undetected.

6 D. G. Altman et al. The general idea of an IPD systematic review is that the raw data for each individual are obtained directly from the researchers/data owners irrespective of whether a particular study has been published. , if extended follow up information is available). The data are (re-)analysed centrally by the review group using consistent statistical methods, including meta-analysis if appropriate. IPD meta-analyses have most famously been carried out by the Early Breast Cancer Trialists Collaborative Group (1998) when evaluating the impact of therapies for early breast cancer.

The reliability of MVD measurement techniques, the choice of cut-off points, and the number of patients and events in each study were major contributing factors to study quality. Finally, random-effects meta-analysis was employed to synthesize the available data. Although just a single case study, many of the lessons learnt from PILC will apply broadly to IPD studies of prognosis in cancer and indeed in other medical areas. Our experiences accord with what has been written by others about IPD studies, and may be summarised as follows 1.

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