To present a novel and simple graphical approach to improve the presentation of the treatment ranking in a network meta-analysis (NMA) including multiple outcomes.
STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:
NMA simultaneously compares many relevant interventions for a clinical condition from a network of trials, and allows ranking of the effectiveness and/or safety of each intervention. There are numerous ways to present the NMA results, which can challenge their interpretation by research users. The rank-heat plot is a novel graph that can be used to quickly recognize which interventions are most likely the best or worst interventions with respect to their effectiveness and/or safety for a single or multiple outcome(s) and may increase interpretability.
Using empirical NMAs, we show that the need for a concise and informative presentation of results is imperative, particularly as the number of competing treatments and outcomes in an NMA increases.
The rank-heat plot is an efficient way to present the results of ranking statistics, particularly when a large amount of data is available, and it is targeted to users from various backgrounds.
Note: The reference for citing the Rank-heat plot in scientific papers is:
Veroniki AA, Straus SE, Fyraridis A, Tricco AC. The rank-heat plot is a novel way to present the results from a network meta-analysis including multiple outcomes. J. Clin. Epidemiol. 2016; pii: S0895-4356(16)00153-0 (PubMed)