Missing Outcome data in Psychiatric Trials & Meta-Analysis

The MissOPTIMA (Missing Outcomes from Psychiatric Trials in Meta-Analysis) project has been co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund - ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program  "Education and Lifelong Learning" of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) - Research Funding Program: "ARISTEIA: Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund."

MissOPTIMA started in October 2012 and will finish in September 2015. The project aims to explore ways to improve the reliability of the evidence that is provided from meta-analyses by making specific recommendations for handling attrition bias. MissOPTIMA is a multidisciplinary project combining epidemiological research in psychiatry with synthesis methodology and statistics.

The specific objectives of the proposed project are a) to describe the impact of attrition in individual RCTs and identify study-quality characteristics as prognostic factors for high dropout b) to summarize and evaluate the methods currently applied to deal with attrition in meta-analyses c) to develop and establish a statistical framework for meta-analysis that accounts for attrition bias in the summary results. The project will conclude with recommendations about analyzing and reporting a meta-analysis in the presence of attrition. The work program is motivated by three large datasets, available to us as parts of established collaborations involving in total 246 RCTs and more than 40 meta-analyses in comparing effectiveness and acceptability of antidepressants, anti-manic drugs and antipsychotics.

MissOPTIMA will eventually provide methodologists with a useful evidence synthesis tool and clinicians with more credible and reliable evidence, thus improving decision making and clinical practice.