Background Random error may cause misleading evidence in meta-analyses. The required number of participants in a meta-analysis (i.e. information size) should be at least as large as an adequately powered single trial. Trial sequential analysis (TSA) may reduce risk of random errors due to repetitive testing of accumulating data by evaluating meta-analyses not reaching the information size with monitoring boundaries. This is analogous to sequential monitoring boundaries in a single trial. Methods We selected apparently conclusive (P ≤ 0.05) Cochrane neonatal meta-analyses. We applied heterogeneity-adjusted and unadjusted TSA on these meta-analyses by calculating the information size, the monitoring boundaries, and the cumulative Z-statistic after each trial. We identified the proportion of meta-analyses that did not reach the required information size and the proportion of these meta-analyses in which the Z-curve did not cross the monitoring boundaries. Results Of 54 apparently conclusive meta-analyses, 39 (72%) did not reach the heterogeneity-adjusted information size required to accept or reject an intervention effect of 25% relative risk reduction. Of these 39, 19 meta-analyses (49%) were considered inconclusive, because the cumulative Z-curve did not cross the monitoring boundaries. The median number of participants required to reach the required information size was 1591 (range, 339-6149). TSA without heterogeneity adjustment largely confirmed these results. Conclusions Many apparently conclusive Cochrane neonatal meta-analyses may become inconclusive when the statistical analyses take into account the risk of random error due to repetitive testing.
Cognitive regulation of emotions is a fundamental prerequisite for intact social functioning which impacts on both well being and psychopathology. The neural underpinnings of this process have been studied intensively in recent years, without, however, a general consensus. We here quantitatively summarize the published literature on cognitive emotion regulation using activation likelihood estimation in fMRI and PET (23 studies/479 subjects). In addition, we assessed the particular functional contribution of identified regions and their interactions using quantitative functional inference and meta-analytic connectivity modeling, respectively. In doing so, we developed a model for the core brain network involved in emotion regulation of emotional reactivity. According to this, the superior temporal gyrus, angular gyrus and (pre) supplementary motor area should be involved in execution of regulation initiated by frontal areas. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may be related to regulation of cognitive processes such as attention, while the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex may not necessarily reflect the regulatory process per se, but signals salience and therefore the need to regulate. We also identified a cluster in the anterior middle cingulate cortex as a region, which is anatomically and functionally in an ideal position to influence behavior and subcortical structures related to affect generation. Hence this area may play a central, integrative role in emotion regulation. By focusing on regions commonly active across multiple studies, this proposed model should provide important a priori information for the assessment of dysregulated emotion regulation in psychiatric disorders.
Abstract Background The application of conjoint analysis (including discrete-choice experiments and other multiattribute stated-preference methods) in health has increased rapidly over the past decade. A wider acceptance of these methods is limited by an absence of consensus-based methodological standards. Objective The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Good Research Practices for Conjoint Analysis Task Force was established to identify good research practices for conjoint-analysis applications in health. Methods The task force met regularly to identify the important steps in a conjoint analysis, to discuss good research practices for conjoint analysis, and to develop and refine the key criteria for identifying good research practices. ISPOR members contributed to this process through an extensive consultation process. A final consensus meeting was held to revise the article using these comments, and those of a number of international reviewers. Results Task force findings are presented as a 10-item checklist covering: 1) research question; 2) attributes and levels; 3) construction of tasks; 4) experimental design; 5) preference elicitation; 6) instrument design; 7) data-collection plan; 8) statistical analyses; 9) results and conclusions; and 10) study presentation. A primary question relating to each of the 10 items is posed, and three sub-questions examine finer issues within items. Conclusions Although the checklist should not be interpreted as endorsing any specific methodological approach to conjoint analysis, it can facilitate future training activities and discussions of good research practices for the application of conjoint-analysis methods in health care studies.
Abstract Background Budget impact analyses (BIAs) are an essential part of a comprehensive economic assessment of a health care intervention and are increasingly required by reimbursement authorities as part of a listing or reimbursement submission. Objectives The objective of this report was to present updated guidance on methods for those undertaking such analyses or for those reviewing the results of such analyses. This update was needed, in part, because of developments in BIA methods as well as a growing interest, particularly in emerging markets, in matters related to affordability and population health impacts of health care interventions. Methods The Task Force was approved by the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research Health Sciences Policy Council and appointed by its Board of Directors. Members were experienced developers or users of BIAs; worked in academia and industry and as advisors to governments; and came from several countries in North America and South America, Oceania, Asia, and Europe. The Task Force solicited comments on the drafts from a core group of external reviewers and, more broadly, from the membership of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. Results The Task Force recommends that the design of a BIA for a new health care intervention should take into account relevant features of the health care system, possible access restrictions, the anticipated uptake of the new intervention, and the use and effects of the current and new interventions. The key elements of a BIA include estimating the size of the eligible population, the current mix of treatments and the expected mix after the introduction of the new intervention, the cost of the treatment mixes, and any changes expected in condition-related costs. Where possible, the BIA calculations should be performed by using a simple cost calculator approach because of its ease of use for budget holders. In instances, however, in which the changes in eligible population size, disease severity mix, or treatment patterns cannot be credibly captured by using the cost calculator approach, a cohort or patient-level condition-specific model may be used to estimate the budget impact of the new intervention, accounting appropriately for those entering and leaving the eligible population over time. In either case, the BIA should use data that reflect values specific to a particular decision maker’s population. Sensitivity analysis should be of alternative scenarios chosen from the perspective of the decision maker. The validation of the model should include at least face validity with decision makers and verification of the calculations. Data sources for the BIA should include published clinical trial estimates and comparator studies for the efficacy and safety of the current and new interventions as well as the decision maker’s own population for the other parameter estimates, where possible. Other data sources include the use of published data, well-recognized local or national statistical information, and, in special circumstances, expert opinion. Reporting of the BIA should provide detailed information about the input parameter values and calculations at a level of detail that would allow another modeler to replicate the analysis. The outcomes of the BIA should be presented in the format of interest to health care decision makers. In a computer program, options should be provided for different categories of costs to be included or excluded from the analysis. Conclusions We recommend a framework for the BIA, provide guidance on the acquisition and use of data, and offer a common reporting format that will promote standardization and transparency. Adherence to these good research practice principles would not necessarily supersede jurisdiction-specific BIA guidelines but may support and enhance local recommendations or serve as a starting point for payers wishing to promulgate methodology guidelines.
Abstract A non-linear poroelastic finite element model of the lumbar spine was developed to investigate spinal response during daily dynamic physiological activities. Swelling was simulated by imposing a boundary pore pressure of 0.25 MPa at all external surfaces. Partial saturation of the disc was introduced to circumvent the negative pressures otherwise computed upon unloading. The loading conditions represented a pre-conditioning full day followed by another day of loading: 8 h rest under a constant compressive load of 350 N, followed by 16 h loading phase under constant or cyclic compressive load varying in between 1000 and 1600 N. In addition, the effect of one or two short resting periods in the latter loading phase was studied. The model yielded fairly good agreement with in-vivo and in-vitro measurements. Taking the partial saturation of the disc into account, no negative pore pressures were generated during unloading and recovery phase. Recovery phase was faster than the loading period with equilibrium reached in only ∼3 h. With time and during the day, the axial displacement, fluid loss, axial stress and disc radial strain increased whereas the pore pressure and disc collagen fiber strains decreased. The fluid pressurization and collagen fiber stiffening were noticeable early in the morning, which gave way to greater compression stresses and radial strains in the annulus bulk as time went by. The rest periods dampened foregoing differences between the early morning and late in the afternoon periods. The forgoing diurnal variations have profound effects on lumbar spine biomechanics and risk of injury.
Background: Numerous studies have investigated the relationship between COX-2 8473 T > C polymorphism and cancer susceptibility, however, the results remain controversial. Therefore, we carried out the present meta-analysis to obtain a more accurate assessment of this potential association. Methods: In this meta-analysis, 79 case-control studies were included with a total of 38,634 cases and 55,206 controls. We searched all relevant articles published in PubMed, EMBASE, OVID, Web of Science, CNKI and Wanfang Data, till September 29, 2017. The pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to evaluate the strength of the association. We performed subgroup analysis according to ethnicity, source of controls, genotyping method and cancer type. Moreover, Trial sequential analysis (TSA) was implemented to decrease the risk of type I error and estimate whether the current evidence of the results was sufficient and conclusive. Results: Overall, our results indicated that 8473 T > C polymorphism was not associated with cancer susceptibility. However, stratified analysis showed that the polymorphism was associated with a statistically significant decreased risk for nasopharyngeal cancer and bladder cancer, but an increased risk for esophageal cancer and skin cancer. Interestingly, TSA demonstrated that the evidence of the result was sufficient in this study. Conclusion: No significant association between COX-2 8473 T > C polymorphism and cancer risk was detected.
The ENIGMA (Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Consortium was set up to analyze brain measures and genotypes from multiple sites across the world to improve the power to detect genetic variants that influence the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) yields quantitative measures sensitive to brain development and degeneration, and some common genetic variants may be associated with white matter integrity or connectivity. DTI measures, such as the fractional anisotropy (FA) of water diffusion, may be useful for identifying genetic variants that influence brain microstructure. However, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) require large populations to obtain sufficient power to detect and replicate significant effects, motivating a multi-site consortium effort. As part of an ENIGMA–DTI working group, we analyzed high-resolution FA images from multiple imaging sites across North America, Australia, and Europe, to address the challenge of harmonizing imaging data collected at multiple sites. Four hundred images of healthy adults aged 18–85 from four sites were used to create a template and corresponding skeletonized FA image as a common reference space. Using twin and pedigree samples of different ethnicities, we used our common template to evaluate the heritability of tract-derived FA measures. We show that our template is reliable for integrating multiple datasets by combining results through meta-analysis and unifying the data through exploratory mega-analyses. Our results may help prioritize regions of the FA map that are consistently influenced by additive genetic factors for future genetic discovery studies. Protocols and templates are publicly available at ( ).
Summary Background In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013), knowledge about health and its determinants has been integrated into a comparable framework to inform health policy. Outputs of this analysis are relevant to current policy questions in England and elsewhere, particularly on health inequalities. We use GBD 2013 data on mortality and causes of death, and disease and injury incidence and prevalence to analyse the burden of disease and injury in England as a whole, in English regions, and within each English region by deprivation quintile. We also assess disease and injury burden in England attributable to potentially preventable risk factors. England and the English regions are compared with the remaining constituent countries of the UK and with comparable countries in the European Union (EU) and beyond. Methods We extracted data from the GBD 2013 to compare mortality, causes of death, years of life lost (YLLs), years lived with a disability (YLDs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) in England, the UK, and 18 other countries (the first 15 EU members [apart from the UK] and Australia, Canada, Norway, and the USA [EU15+]). We extended elements of the analysis to English regions, and subregional areas defined by deprivation quintile (deprivation areas). We used data split by the nine English regions (corresponding to the European boundaries of the Nomenclature for Territorial Statistics level 1 [NUTS 1] regions), and by quintile groups within each English region according to deprivation, thereby making 45 regional deprivation areas. Deprivation quintiles were defined by area of residence ranked at national level by Index of Multiple Deprivation score, 2010. Burden due to various risk factors is described for England using new GBD methodology to estimate independent and overlapping attributable risk for five tiers of behavioural, metabolic, and environmental risk factors. We present results for 306 causes and 2337 sequelae, and 79 risks or risk clusters. Findings Between 1990 and 2013, life expectancy from birth in England increased by 5·4 years (95% uncertainty interval 5·0–5·8) from 75·9 years (75·9–76·0) to 81·3 years (80·9–81·7); gains were greater for men than for women. Rates of age-standardised YLLs reduced by 41·1% (38·3–43·6), whereas DALYs were reduced by 23·8% (20·9–27·1), and YLDs by 1·4% (0·1–2·8). For these measures, England ranked better than the UK and the EU15+ means. Between 1990 and 2013, the range in life expectancy among 45 regional deprivation areas remained 8·2 years for men and decreased from 7·2 years in 1990 to 6·9 years in 2013 for women. In 2013, the leading cause of YLLs was ischaemic heart disease, and the leading cause of DALYs was low back and neck pain. Known risk factors accounted for 39·6% (37·7–41·7) of DALYs; leading behavioural risk factors were suboptimal diet (10·8% [9·1–12·7]) and tobacco (10·7% [9·4–12·0]). Interpretation Health in England is improving although substantial opportunities exist for further reductions in the burden of preventable disease. The gap in mortality rates between men and women has reduced, but marked health inequalities between the least deprived and most deprived areas remain. Declines in mortality have not been matched by similar declines in morbidity, resulting in people living longer with diseases. Health policies must therefore address the causes of ill health as well as those of premature mortality. Systematic action locally and nationally is needed to reduce risk exposures, support healthy behaviours, alleviate the severity of chronic disabling disorders, and mitigate the effects of socioeconomic deprivation. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Public Health England.
Highlights • Predominant pattern assigned by 2 independent observer was an exact match in 51.7% of cases. • Predominant pattern determined by both observers showed significant stratification of survival. • All 3 grading schemes showed a significant difference in OS and PFS determined by both observers. • Multivariable and stage I analyses showed pattern-based grading schemes maintained significance