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Extra resources for Advances in statistical methods for the health sciences : applications to cancer and AIDS studies, genome sequence analysis, and survival analysis
2006). Although such meta-analyses may sometimes be useful, especially when the study characteristics do not vary too much and only the best studies are included, the ﬁndings will rarely be convincing. Some, if not all, of these obstacles may be overcome by obtaining IPD. For example, the widespread use of dichotomisation of continuous variables reduces power and oﬀers a breeding ground for publication bias when multiple cutpoints are explored; see Altman et al. (1994). The availability of IPD avoids bias by enabling the original measurements to be used.
10. Variation in the methods of measuring ostensibly the same variable are a serious impediment to clear conclusions – consensus methods should be developed. The main advantages of collecting IPD in systematic reviews of prognostic studies are the inclusion of extended follow-up for studies that were published; inclusion of unpublished studies with reduced risk of publication bias; ability to check the data; standardised data analysis, including correct analysis of continuous variables; analysis based on time-to-event for each patient; and ability to analyse patient subgroups.
Wittekind), pp. 49–56, Wiley-Liss, New York. 27. , and Altman, D. G. (1994). Statistical aspects of prognostic factor studies in oncology, British Journal of Cancer, 69, 979–985. 28. Stewart, L. , and Clarke, M. J. (1995). Practical methodology of metaanalyses (overviews) using updated individual patient data. Cochrane Working Group, Statistics in Medicine, 14, 2057–2079. 29. Trivella, M. , Altman, D. , and Harris, A. L. (2006). Angiogenesis as a prognostic factor in non-small cell lung carcinoma.