Research Synthesis Methods

Meta‐STEPP with random effects

Journal Article

We recently developed a method called Meta‐STEPP based on the fixed‐effects meta‐analytic approach to explore treatment effect heterogeneity across a continuous covariate for individual time‐to‐event data arising from multiple clinical trials. Meta‐STEPP forms overlapping subpopulation windows (meta‐windows) along a continuous covariate of interest, estimates the overall treatment effect in each meta‐window using standard fixed‐effects method, plots them against the continuous covariate, and tests for treatment‐effect heterogeneity across the range of covariate values. Here, we extend this method using random‐effects methods and find it to be more conservative than the fixed‐effects method. Both the random‐ and fixed‐effects Meta‐STEPP are implemented in R.

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