Editorial considerations for reviews that compare multiple interventions

Cochrane Methods Training Event (PART 2)

Editorial considerations for reviews that compare multiple interventions: use of indirect comparisons, network meta-analysis and Overviews of reviews

This training event addressed methods and applications for the comparison of multiple interventions in Cochrane Reviews, including indirect comparisons and network meta-analysis. It was offered by the Cochrane Comparing Multiple Interventions Methods Group.


Content: Setting up a review to compare multiple interventions; rationale and validity of approaches; simple indirect and mixed comparisons; editorial issues. Examples of previously published meta-analyses were used to illustrate the concepts.  

Objectives: by the end of the course, participants should be able:

  • to understand the role and potential of indirect comparisons and network meta-analyses in Cochrane Intervention Reviews and Cochrane Overviews of Reviews;
  • to understand the basic principles and steps involved in indirect comparisons and network meta-analyses;
  • to undertake a simple indirect comparison, and to consider this appropriately alongside a direct comparison of the same two interventions;
  • to support Cochrane editorial bases in their support of review authors undertaking indirect comparisons and network meta-analysis.


Introduction and Course Overview

The Current Situation

Basic Ideas of Indirect Comparisons 

Key Assumptions of Indirect Comparisons & Network Meta-Analyses

Deciding When To Use The Overview Format

Moving Forward - CMIMG Recommendations