GRADE guidelines: 13. Preparing summary of findings tables and evidence profiles-continuous outcomes

Guyatt, Gordon H. and Thorlund, Kristian and Oxman, Andrew D. and Walter, Stephen D. and Patrick, Donald A. and Furukawa, Toshiaki A. and Johnston, Bradley C. and Karanicolas, Paul J. and Akl, Elie A. and Vist, Gunn and Kunz, Regina and Brozek, Jan and Kupper, Lawrence and Martin, Sandra L. and Meerpohl, Joerg J. and Alonso-Coello, Pablo and Christensen, Robin and Schünemann, Holger J.. (2013) GRADE guidelines: 13. Preparing summary of findings tables and evidence profiles-continuous outcomes. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 66 (2). pp. 173-183.

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Presenting continuous outcomes in Summary of Findings tables presents particular challenges to interpretation. When each study uses the same outcome measure, and the units of that measure are intuitively interpretable (e.g., duration of hospitalization, duration of symptoms), presenting differences in means is usually desirable. When the natural units of the outcome measure are not easily interpretable, choosing a threshold to create a binary outcome and presenting relative and absolute effects become a more attractive alternative. When studies use different measures of the same construct, calculating summary measures requires converting to the same units of measurement for each study. The longest standing and most widely used approach is to divide the difference in means in each study by its standard deviation and present pooled results in standard deviation units (standardized mean difference). Disadvantages of this approach include vulnerability to varying degrees of heterogeneity in the underlying populations and difficulties in interpretation. Alternatives include presenting results in the units of the most popular or interpretable measure, converting to dichotomous measures and presenting relative and absolute effects, presenting the ratio of the means of intervention and control groups, and presenting the results in minimally important difference units. We outline the merits and limitations of each alternative and provide guidance for meta-analysts and guideline developers
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Medizinische Fächer (Klinik) > Versicherungsmedizin > Versicherungsmedizin (Kunz)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Medizinische Fächer (Klinik) > Versicherungsmedizin > Versicherungsmedizin (Kunz)
UniBasel Contributors:Kunz, Regina
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:23 Sep 2020 08:11
Deposited On:23 Sep 2020 08:11

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