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MetaInsight: An interactive web-based tool for analyzing, interrogating and visualizing network meta-analyses using R-shiny and netmeta

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journal contribution
posted on 05.11.2020, 13:46 by Rhiannon K. Owen, Naomi Bradbury, Yiqiao Xin, Nicola Cooper, Alex Sutton
Background: Network meta-analysis (NMA) is a powerful analysis method used to identify the best treatments for a condition and is used extensively by healthcare decision makers. Although software routines exist for conducting network meta-analysis, they require considerable statistical programming expertise to use, which limits the number of researchers able to conduct such analyses. Objectives: To develop a web-based tool allowing users with only standard internet browser software to be able to conduct NMAs using an intuitive ‘point and click’ interface and present the results using visual plots. Methods: Using the existing netmeta and Shiny packages for R to conduct the analyses, and to develop the user interface, we created the MetaInsight tool which is freely available to use via the web. Results: A package was created for conducting NMA which satisfied our objectives, and this is described, and its application demonstrated, using an illustrative example. Conclusions: We believe many researchers will find our package helpful for facilitating NMA as well as allowing decision-makers to scrutinize presented results visually and in real-time. This will impact on the relevance of statistical analyses for healthcare decision-making, and sustainably increase capacity by empowering informed non-specialists to be able to conduct more clinically relevant reviews. It is also hoped that others will be inspired to create similar tools for other advanced specialist analyses methods using the freely available technologies we have adopted.

Funding

Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership studentship. Grant Number: BB/M01116X/1

National Institute for Health Research. Grant Number: 14/178/29

History

Citation

Research Synthesis Methods, Volume 10, Issue 4, December 2019, Pages 569-581

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES/School of Medicine/Department of Health Sciences

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Research Synthesis Methods

Volume

10

Issue

4

Pagination

569-581

Publisher

Wiley for Society for Research Synthesis Methodology

issn

1759-2879

Acceptance date

14/07/2019

Copyright date

2019

Available date

26/07/2019

Language

en