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

Thomas P A Debray, Karel G.M. Moons, Gert van Valkenhoef, Orestis Efthimiou, Noemi Hummel, Rolf H H Groenwold, Johannes B. Reitsma,

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293–309
JournalResearch synthesis methods
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • meta-analysis
  • IPD
  • evidence synthesis
  • review
  • RCT
  • non-randomized intervention studies
  • NRSI
  • cross-design


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