Journal article

The Missing Medians: Exclusion of Ordinal Data from Meta-Analyses

Toby B Cumming, Leonid Churilov, Emily S Sena

PLOS ONE | PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE | Published : 2015

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Meta-analyses are considered the gold standard of evidence-based health care, and are used to guide clinical decisions and health policy. A major limitation of current meta-analysis techniques is their inability to pool ordinal data. Our objectives were to determine the extent of this problem in the context of neurological rating scales and to provide a solution. METHODS: Using an existing database of clinical trials of oral neuroprotective therapies, we identified the 6 most commonly used clinical rating scales and recorded how data from these scales were reported and analysed. We then identified systematic reviews of studies that used these scales (via the Cochrane database) an..

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Grants

Awarded by UK National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) infrastructure award: ivSyRMAF-the CAMARADES-NC3Rs in vivo systematic review and meta-analysis facility


Funding Acknowledgements

TC and LC received no specific funding for this work. ES was supported by the UK National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) infrastructure award: ivSyRMAF-the CAMARADES-NC3Rs in vivo systematic review and meta-analysis facility, grant number NC/L000970/1. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.Emily Sena is supported by funding from Research Councils UK. We thank Mahsa Keshtkaran for assistance with data extraction and Hayden Johns for development of statistical programming.