Comparison of meta-analytic results of indirect, direct, and combined comparisons of drugs for chronic insomnia in adults: A case study

Ben W. Vandermeer, Nina Buscemi, Yuanyuan Liang, Manisha Witmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Background: Our Center recently conducted a systematic review of the manifestations and management of chronic insomnia in adults. The efficacy and safety of benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines, relative to placebo, were compared indirectly. Objectives: Determine how the results of indirect comparisons made in the review compare with the results of direct comparisons, as well as with estimates derived from Bayesian mixed treatment comparisons. Establish general appropriateness of the use of results of indirect or mixed treatment comparisons. Methods: Treatments were compared using frequentist direct, indirect, and combined methods, as well as Bayesian direct and mixed methods. Results: Estimates for comparisons tended to be clinically and statistically similar across methods. Estimates obtained through indirect comparisons were not biased and were similar to those obtained through direct analysis. Conclusions: Results of indirect comparisons made in the review, accurately reflected the current evidence. Frequentist and Bayesian methods of analysis of indirect comparisons should be considered when performing meta-analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S166-S172
JournalMedical Care
Issue number10 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • Indirect comparison
  • Meta-analysis
  • Mixed-treatment comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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