Background: In the last decade, network meta-analysis of randomized
controlled trials has been introduced as an extension of pairwise meta-analysis. The
advantage of network meta-analysis over standard pairwise meta-analysis is that it
facilitates indirect comparisons of multiple interventions that have not been studied
in a head-to-head ... read morefashion. Although assumptions underlying pairwise meta-analyses are
well understood, those concerning network meta-analyses are perceived to be more
complex and prone to misinterpretation.
Jansen, Jeroen, and Huseyin Naci. "Is network meta-analysis as
valid as standard pairwise meta-analysis? It all depends on the distribution of
effect modifiers." BMC Medicine 11, no. 1 (12, 2013): 1-8.