gms | German Medical Science

G-I-N Conference 2012

Guidelines International Network

22.08 - 25.08.2012, Berlin

Pooled-studies publications: an analysis of the relevant characteristics of these articles for systematic reviewers

Meeting Abstract

  • K. Thaler - Department of Evidence-based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Danube Univers, Krems, Austria
  • L. Morgan - Research Triangle Institute (RTI), North Carolina, Research Triangle Park, US
  • M. VanNoord - Cecil Sheps Center for Health Care Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, US
  • D. Jonas - Cecil Sheps Center for Health Care Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, US
  • M. McDonagh - Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, US
  • K. Peterson - Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, US
  • A. Glechner - Department of Evidence-based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Danube Univers, Krems, Austria
  • G. Gartlehner - Department of Evidence-based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Danube Univers, Krems, Austria; Research Triangle Institute (RTI), North Carolina, Research Triangle Park, US

Guidelines International Network. G-I-N Conference 2012. Berlin, 22.-25.08.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocP001

DOI: 10.3205/12gin113, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-12gin1134

Veröffentlicht: 10. Juli 2012

© 2012 Thaler et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.de). Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.


Gliederung

Text

Background: Because of high risk of bias systematic reviewers exclude publications containing pooled data that are not based on a systematic review and perform no critical appraisal.

Objectives: To systematically explore the characteristics of the PSPs, in particular those that might suggest susceptibility to bias.

Methods: We systematically searched the database of exclusions from a recent comparative effectiveness review of second-generation antidepressants conducted for the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. We dually abstracted information from all PSPs, including: number of pooled trials and patients; funding or conflicts of interest; was pooling planned a priori; how trial protocols differed; and was data from unpublished trials included.

Results: We retrieved 65 PSPs containing an average of 6.4 trials and 1489 patients. Sixty-three (97%) of the PSPs were either explicitly funded by a pharmaceutical company or at least one of the authors was an employee of a pharmaceutical company. In total, 3 (4.6%) PSPs stated that pooling of the included trials was planned a prior, 12 (18.5%) pooled trials with identical protocols, and 23 (35.4%) included unpublished data.

Discussion: PSPs are almost exclusively funded by the pharmaceutical industry and regularly ontain unpublished data. Pooled trial often differed in patient population, duration, dosing, and comparator agents.

Implications for guideline developers/users: Because PSPs are almost exclusively industry-funded a high degree of suspicion about the analysis of data presented is warranted; however PSPs contain analyses of unpublished data that might otherwise be unavailable to reviewers.