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An encouraging assessment of methods to inform priorities for updating systematic reviews

Sutton, A. J., Donegan, Sarah, Takwoingi, Y., Garner, Paul ORCID:, Gamble, C. and Donald, A. (2009) 'An encouraging assessment of methods to inform priorities for updating systematic reviews'. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Vol 62, Issue 3, pp. 241-251.

Donegan_an_encouraging_assessment_of_methods_to_inform_priorities_for_updating_systematic_reviews.pdf - Accepted Version

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Objective: To consider the use of statistical methods that aim to prioritize the updating of a collection of systematic reviews based on preliminary literature searches.

Study Design and Setting: A new simulation-based method estimating statistical power and the ratio of the weights assigned to the predicted new and old evidence, and the existing Barrowman n approach is considered. Using only information on the numbers of subjects randomized in the "new" trials, these were applied retrospectively, by removing recent studies, to existing systematic reviews from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group.

Results: Twelve systematic reviews were included. When the removed studies were reinstated, inferences changed in five of them. These reviews were ranked, in order of update priority, 1, 2, 3, 4, and I I and 1, 2, 3, 4, and 12 by the Barrowman n and simulation-based power approaches, respectively. The low ranking of one significant meta-analysis by both methods was due to unexpectedly favorable results in the reinstated study.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the feasibility of the use of analytical methods to inform update prioritization strategies. Under conditions of homogeneity, Barrowman's n and simulated power were in close agreement. We encourage further, prospective, evaluation of these methods.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The definitive, published version is available at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: meta-analysis systematic review updating power methodology simulation metaanalysis heterogeneity
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 20.5 Research (General)
WA Public Health > Statistics. Surveys > WA 950 Theory or methods of medical statistics. Epidemiologic methods
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Philomena Hinds
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2010 10:22
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2022 15:00


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