Get real in individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis: a review of the methodology

Res Synth Methods. 2015 Dec;6(4):293-309. doi: 10.1002/jrsm.1160. Epub 2015 Aug 19.


Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis is an increasingly used approach for synthesizing and investigating treatment effect estimates. Over the past few years, numerous methods for conducting an IPD meta-analysis (IPD-MA) have been proposed, often making different assumptions and modeling choices while addressing a similar research question. We conducted a literature review to provide an overview of methods for performing an IPD-MA using evidence from clinical trials or non-randomized studies when investigating treatment efficacy. With this review, we aim to assist researchers in choosing the appropriate methods and provide recommendations on their implementation when planning and conducting an IPD-MA.

Keywords: IPD; NRSI; RCT; cross-design; evidence synthesis; meta-analysis; non-randomized intervention studies; review.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Software
  • Treatment Outcome*