Evidence synthesis for decision making 7: a reviewer's checklist

Med Decis Making. 2013 Jul;33(5):679-91. doi: 10.1177/0272989X13485156.


This checklist is for the review of evidence syntheses for treatment efficacy used in decision making based on either efficacy or cost-effectiveness. It is intended to be used for pairwise meta-analysis, indirect comparisons, and network meta-analysis, without distinction. It does not generate a quality rating and is not prescriptive. Instead, it focuses on a series of questions aimed at revealing the assumptions that the authors of the synthesis are expecting readers to accept, the adequacy of the arguments authors advance in support of their position, and the need for further analyses or sensitivity analyses. The checklist is intended primarily for those who review evidence syntheses, including indirect comparisons and network meta-analyses, in the context of decision making but will also be of value to those submitting syntheses for review, whether to decision-making bodies or journals. The checklist has 4 main headings: A) definition of the decision problem, B) methods of analysis and presentation of results, C) issues specific to network synthesis, and D) embedding the synthesis in a probabilistic cost-effectiveness model. The headings and implicit advice follow directly from the other tutorials in this series. A simple table is provided that could serve as a pro forma checklist.

Keywords: Bayesian meta-analysis; cost-effectiveness analysis; meta-analysis; multiparameter evidence synthesis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Making*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Probability