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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2012;156(31):A4743.

[The meta-analysis of data from individual patients].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

  • 1UMC St Radboud, afd. Operatiekamers en afd. Epidemiologie, Biostatistiek & HTA, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.


An IPD (Individual Participant Data) meta-analysis requires collecting original individual patient data and calculating an estimated effect based on these data. The use of individual patient data has various advantages: the original data and the results of published analyses are verified, comparability between studies in terms of definitions, coding and analyses is increased, the number of options for performing sub-group analyses becomes greater, and it becomes possible to conduct more complex statistical analyses, such as the pooling of time-dependent data and multivariate regression analyses. In an IPD meta-analysis, additional information can be used which was not mentioned in the original article, for example, data from long-term follow-up. Improvements to this methodology are still possible; for example, to find the right balance between sufficient power to detect clinically relevant subgroup effects and minimizing the risk of false-positive findings. Readers can evaluate an IPD meta-analysis on various factors, including the reason for the choice for an IPD meta-analysis, the method used to identify and select the studies, and the number of approached authors that made their data available.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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