Objectives: To present a novel and simple graphical approach to improve the presentation of the treatment ranking in a network meta-analysis (NMA) including multiple outcomes.
Study design and setting: NMA simultaneously compares many relevant interventions for a clinical condition from a network of trials, and allows ranking of the effectiveness and/or safety of each intervention. There are numerous ways to present the NMA results, which can challenge their interpretation by research users. The rank-heat plot is a novel graph that can be used to quickly recognize which interventions are most likely the best or worst interventions with respect to their effectiveness and/or safety for a single or multiple outcome(s) and may increase interpretability.
Results: Using empirical NMAs, we show that the need for a concise and informative presentation of results is imperative, particularly as the number of competing treatments and outcomes in an NMA increases.
Conclusion: The rank-heat plot is an efficient way to present the results of ranking statistics, particularly when a large amount of data is available, and it is targeted to users from various backgrounds.
Keywords: Graphical displays; Multiple outcomes; Multiple treatment meta-analysis; Presentation results; Probability best; SUCRA.
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