Random and fixed effect models

In meta-analysis, it is common to talk about random- and fixed-effect models. This can get pretty confusing, because fixed- and random-effects models exist outside meta-analysis as well. As a result, there is a short and a long answer to this

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Network meta-analysis

Meta-analysis is the statistical aggregation of data from a number of studies in order to answer a question. As an example, when considering the efficacy of a treatment, one may pool the results of multiple trials comparing the treatment to

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Meta-analysis

Meta-analysis is the statistical aggregation and analysis of data from multiple studies. When the studies included are properly selected and the data are aggregated appropriately, it uses more of the available information than a single study and so should be

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Why are drugs so disappointing?

No, this isn’t an extended post about reefer madness. It’s about that horrible gap between the excitement of a new therapy for an illness, and the results that eventually come out years later. One of my main interests is in

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Plotting data in R: An introduction

R is a commonly used piece of statistical software. It’s free, it’s flexible, and it has a huge user community. When you first experience success in using it, you will be amazed by what can be done with a piece

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Opportunity cost

Health systems do not have endless amounts of money, endless numbers of clinicians, or an infinite number of beds. In other words, they have constrained resources. When we have constrained resources, we have to choose what to use those resources

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Utility

Utility is one of those awkward concepts that is fundamental to economics, but actually rather difficult to define. Utility is important because economists often deal with situations in which things are compared that are not similar. The reason for this

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Is it worth living? Bill Hicks and smoking cessation

They proved that if you quit smoking, it will prolong your life. What they haven’t proved is that a prolonged life is a good thing. I haven’t seen the stats on that yet. (Bill Hicks, Dark Poet, 1991) So, you’re

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Time-Trade-Off (TTO)

Time-trade-off (TTO) is one way of measuring utility. This is important for the calculation of quality adjusted life-years (QALYs). In this approach, we ask individuals to trade time in one health state for a shorter period of time in a

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Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY)

Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) are a measure of the length of life adjusted for the quality of that life. The quality of life should be measured using utility, which is the extent to which a person values one health

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