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Exploring advanced methods for network meta-analysis
  1. Areti Angeliki Veroniki1,2,
  2. Juan Victor Ariel Franco3
  1. 1 Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Knowledge Translation Program, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Institute of General Practice, Heinrich-Heine-University Dusseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Areti Angeliki Veroniki, Knowledge Translation Program, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1W8, Canada; areti-angeliki.veroniki{at}

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High-quality systematic reviews (SRs) of both new and existing health technologies are vital to inform clinical practices and healthcare decision-making. This has been recognised by global entities such as the World Health Organization and national healthcare policy agencies like the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the United Kingdom, and the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia. These SRs serve as the foundation for evidence-based practices and policies, which is reflected in the increasing number of publications in recent years.1

SRs comparing more than one intervention are often of interest to knowledge users (e.g., health care professionals and patients).2 This includes, for instance, selecting from a range of medications, such as atypical antipsychotics, haloperidol and dexmedetomidine, for the management of delirium in older patients. When the method of synthesis is quantitative, network meta-analysis (NMA) comparing multiple interventions from a network of trials is commonly used. The increasing use of NMAs reflects the growing need of assessing multiple interventions when evaluating healthcare interventions.3 4 Overall, NMA helps inform clinical decision-making, …

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  • Contributors AAV wrote the first draft, and JVAF provided feedback. All authors contributed to the manuscript and approved the last version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests JVAF is the editor-in-chief of the Journal, and AAV is the lead editor of the series. Articles in which AAV was an author were handled by an independent editor.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.