AHRQ series on complex intervention systematic reviews—paper 5: advanced analytic methods

Terri Pigott, Jane Noyes, Craig A. Umscheid, Evan Myers, Sally C. Morton, Rongwei Fu, Gillian D. Sanders-Schmidler, Beth Devine, M. Hassan Murad, Michael P. Kelly, Christopher Fonnesbeck, Leila Kahwati, S. Natasha Beretvas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background and Objective Advanced analytic methods for synthesizing evidence about complex interventions continue to be developed. In this paper, we emphasize that the specific research question posed in the review should be used as a guide for choosing the appropriate analytic method. Methods We present advanced analytic approaches that address four common questions that guide reviews of complex interventions: (1) How effective is the intervention? (2) For whom does the intervention work and in what contexts? (3) What happens when the intervention is implemented? and (4) What decisions are possible given the results of the synthesis? Conclusion The analytic approaches presented in this paper are particularly useful when each primary study differs in components, mechanisms of action, context, implementation, timing, and many other domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Bayesian analysis
  • Decision analysis
  • Finite mixture models
  • Meta-analysis
  • Meta-regression
  • Qualitative synthesis
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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