MetaXL User Guide - EpiGear

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MetaXL User GuideVersion 5.3Jan J Barendregt & Suhail A DoiMetaXL User Guide1

EpiGear International Pty LtdABN 51 134 897 411Sunrise Beach, Queensland, Australia, 2011-2016Web: www.epigear.comEmail: [email protected] User Guide2

ContentsContents . 3Introduction . 6Meta-analysis in Excel . 6Installation. 6License . 6Features . 6Design issues . 7Operation. 7This User Guide . 8Technical note . 8MetaXL functions . 9Introduction . 9MAInputTable. 9MACumulative . 13MAIndirect . 13MAMixed. 14MANetwork . 14MASubGroups . 15MAMetaRegresData . 16MAPooledEffect . 16MAPooledEffectLCI & MAPooledEffectHCI . 16MAPooledSE . 16MAForestName. 17MACochranQ . 17MAISquare. 17MALFKIndex . 17MATauSquare . 17MANetworkH . 17MAQIndex . 18MANumStudies . 18MApConsMixed . 18MApOverallEffect . 18MetaXL menu and features . 19Introduction . 19Input templates . 19Results from MAInputTable and MASubgroups . 19Results from MACumulative . 26Results from MAMixed . 28Results from MANetwork. 28Options . 32MetaXL User Guide . 32Examples . 33Reset . 33About MetaXL . 33Meta-analysis methods. 34Introduction . 34Various models . 34Conventional meta-analysis: The fixed and random effects models . 34MetaXL User Guide3

More robust meta-analysis: The Inverse Variance Heterogeneity (IVhet) andQuality Effects (QE) models . 37Burden of Disease studies . 39Meta-analysis of Prevalence . 41Meta-analysis of correlations, rate-ratios and rate difference . 42Indirect comparisons and Network meta-analysis . 43The Doi plot . 47Continuity corrections . 48Binary studies. 48Pooled prevalence . 48Meta-regression using MetaXL to create the dataset and Stata to run the regressionanalysis. 49Preliminaries . 49Example: categorical moderator variables . 50Example: a continuous moderator variable. 53Documentation . 56Examples . 56Introduction . 56ThyroidCancerRR . 56ThyCancerMetaRegres . 56Magnesium. 56MagnesiumCumulative . 57Omega3WMD . 57MarshallSMD . 57SchizophreniaPrev . 57MSMultipleCategoryPrev . 58DiureticsPreEc . 58FruitsVeg. 58PulsesLDL. 58MedCompliance . 59IPTcMalaria . 59IndirectAF . 59ThrombolyticsNetwork . 60OralGlucoseNetwork . 60IHDCholMetaRegres . 60Error messages . 62Introduction . 62MAInputTable error messages . 62MAIndirect error messages . 64MANetwork error messages . 64MARegresData error messages. 65Forest and network plot options error messages . 65Bugs . 66Trouble shooting . 67Known issues . 69MetaXl versions . 70Version 5.3 . 70Version 5.2 . 70Version 5.1 . 70MetaXL User Guide4

Version 5.0 . 70Version 4.01 . 70Version 4.0 . 70Version 3.1 . 70Version 3.0 . 71Version 2.2 . 71Version 2.1 . 71Version 2.0 . 71Version 1.4 . 71Version 1.34 . 71Version 1.33 . 72Version 1.32 . 72Version 1.31 . 72Version 1.3 . 72Version 1.2 . 72Version 1.11 . 72Version 1.1 . 72Version 1.0 . 73Technical appendix . 74Installation issues . 74Statistical and other scientific sources . 75Software . 76About the authors . 77References . 78MetaXL User Guide5

IntroductionMeta-analysis in ExcelMetaXL is a tool for meta-analysis in Microsoft Excel. It extends Excel with severalfunctions for input and output of meta-analysis data, and a menu that offers access tooutput (both in table and graphical format), options, examples, and this User Guide,among other things.MetaXL employs the same meta-analysis methods that can be accessed in generalstatistical packages (such as Stata ) and in dedicated meta-analysis software, butmakes two additional methods available: the inverse variance heterogeneity (IVhet)and Quality Effects (QE) models. In addition, a new way to detect publication bias,the Doi plot, has been implemented. For details, see the section on Meta-analysismethods below.Starting with version 4.0, MetaXL has extended its methods by offering a powerful,yet simple to implement, way of doing network meta-analysis. See the entry on theMANetwork function and the section on Indirect comparisons and Network metaanalysis below.InstallationMetaXL has been tested with Excel 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 20161.Installation is usually straightforward: make sure Excel is not running, and run theMetaXLSetup executable. If all goes well, the MetaXL commands will be present inExcel (in the main Excel menu for Excel version 2003 and earlier, in the MetaXLribbon tab in version 2007 and later), the MetaXL functions will be visible in theExcel Function Wizard (in the function category ‘MetaXL’), and you can open theexample spreadsheets without seeing any “#NAME?” errors. See the section on‘Trouble shooting’ when this is not the case.The installation program installs an Excel add-in (called ‘MetaXL.xll’), together withthis documentation file and a few example spreadsheets. For Excel 2007 and later, anadditional add-in (called ‘MetaXLRibbon.xlam’) is installed. In the Windows Startmenu a MetaXL entry gives access to the example spreadsheets, this User Guide, andan Uninstall program. For a detailed discussion of the installation issues, see theTechnical Appendix below.LicenseMetaXL is free, but copyrighted software. MetaXL may be installed on as manycomputers as the user owns or employs, and can be freely distributed to third parties.However, modification of the installation software and distribution of the software tothird parties for a fee are strictly prohibited.Please contact Epigear ([email protected]) if you have any questions about thislicense arrangement.FeaturesMetaXL has a number of features:1MetaXL supports both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Excel 2010 and higher. The default Excelinstallation is 32 bit.MetaXL User Guide6

1. Fixed effects (inverse variance, Mantel Haenszel, Peto), random effects(DerSimonian & Laird), inverse variance heterogeneity (Doi et al), and qualityeffects (Doi & Thalib) models.2. Both binary (relative risk, odds ratio, risk difference, rate-ratio’s and ratedifference) and continuous (weighted mean difference, Cohen’s d, Hedges’ g,Glasss’s Δ) methods.3. Indirect comparisons and network meta-analysis.4. Cumulative meta-analysis.5. Single arm methods: pooled prevalence, correlations and rates methods.6. Heterogeneity statistics: Cochran’s Q, I2, τ2.7. Sensitivity analysis and study exclusion option.8. A wide range of input format options.9. Output in table and graphical (forest, funnel and Doi plots) formats, withvarious ways to copy or save results.These features are discussed in sections below.Design issuesMetaXL has been developed with academic research in mind. This implies thattransparency of the methods used is deemed important. We have aimed to referenceall the algorithms used, or to describe them in sufficient detail in this User Guide foralgorithms unique to MetaXL. If you have any questions on MetaXL methods leftafter consulting this User Guide and the referenced literature, please contact us.One of the big advantages of MetaXL being Excel based is that it can very easily becombined with Excel based Monte Carlo simulation software, such as EpiGear’sErsatz. Using Ersatz and MetaXL together makes research into, for example, coverageproperties of the various models a breeze, with thousands of meta-analysiscalculations done within a minute.Another important design objective was ease of use. The interface has been kept verysimple (and therefore, hopefully, easy to navigate). For users of Excel, MetaXLshould pose no hurdles.OperationRunning MetaXL is done from within Excel. To see how it operates, start Excel, andopen one of the example spreadsheets (accessible through the MetaXL menu, which islocated in the main Excel menu for Excel version 2003 and earlier, in the MetaXLribbon tab in version 2007 and later). The example spreadsheets contain tables withstudy results, and several input table functions (MAInputTable). In addition, there aresome functions that report results: MaPooledEffect, and MAPooledEffectLCI andMAPooledEffectHCI for the pooled result and its confidence interval respectively.See the section on MetaXL functions below for a detailed description of thesefunctions and the parameters they take.Full results are accessed by choosing ‘Results’ from the MetaXL menu. This willproduce a list of choices, one entry for each MAInputTable, MASubgroups, andMANetwork function in the workbook. Clicking one of these produces a pop-upwindow with tabs giving access to various outputs such as a table and forest, funneland Doi plots.Results can be saved to file by choosing ‘File Save results’, and can be saved to theclipboard (and then pasted into, for example, Exc

MetaXL User Guide 8 The MetaXL menu also gives access to input templates for setting up your own meta-analysis, see the discussion of the MAInputTable function below. This User Guide Although in the remainder we will discuss the various methods of meta-analysis, this User Guide is certainly not meant as an introduction to these issues. The .