Following the completion of a systematic review, a feasibility assessment must be performed prior to undertaking any statistical analyses. The main aspects of meta-analysis feasibility assessment are to determine if meta-analysis is possible and, if so, is it appropriate? A thorough assessment of all the trials identified by the systematic review is performed at feasibility assessment. The drawing of network diagrams is a central step of feasibility assessment to determine which comparisons will be possible for each outcome of interest.
At DRG Abacus, the feasibility assessment involves a thorough assessment of all the trials identified by the systematic review, and mapping out the complex connections in the data through the drawing of network diagrams. Following assessment of network connectivity, we analyse the comparability of the trials being combined within the network. At DRG Abacus, we conduct the heterogeneity analysis using two methods:
Our systematic review and network meta-analysis team have extensive experience in undertaking feasibility assessments to inform the evolution of a project. The teams work hand-in-hand with our experts in meta-analysis and statistics to determine the feasibility of further investigation.