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Table 2 Impact of simulated biases on the results of different comparison methods

From: Simulation evaluation of statistical properties of methods for indirect and mixed treatment comparisons

Comparison methods Actual true biases
Trials not biased All trials similarly biased One set of AIC trials biased DC trials biased
Direct comparison (DTC) Not biased Fully biased Not biased Fully biased
Indirect comparison (AITC) Not biased Not biased Fully biased Not biased
Consistency frequentist MTC Not biased Moderately biased Moderately biased Moderately biased
Consistency Bayesian MTC Not biased Moderately biased Moderately biased Moderately biased
Inconsistency Bayesian meta-analysis Not biased Fully biased Not biased Fully biased
Random inconsistency Bayesian MTC (RIBMTC) Not biased Fully biased Not biased Fully biased
  1. (Note: “Fully biased” – the bias equals the bias in trials; “Moderately biased” – as a result of combining biased direct estimate and unbiased indirect estimate, or a result of combining unbiased direct estimate and biased indirect estimate).