[R-meta] Publication Bias
Guido Schwarzer
sc at imbi.uni-freiburg.de
Wed Nov 29 09:40:34 CET 2017
Laura,
It took me some time to have a closer look.
As already mentioned by Wolfgang, our work (Rücker et al., 2008) on
tests for funnel plot asymmetry focused on meta-analysis with binary
outcomes comparing two groups. I am not sure whether (all of) our
simulation results apply one-to-one to meta-analysis of single proportions.
Methods for funnel plot asymmetry in meta-analysis of single proportions
have been evaluated in Hunter et al. (2014). According to the authors,
it is "the first study to formally assess the utility of funnel plots
for [...] meta-analyses of non-comparative, proportion studies". Based
on simulation studies, they argue that sample size instead of the
standard error of logit transformed proportions is the preferred measure
of precision (which corresponds to use the Peters test, e.g.,
metabias(..., method = "peters") in R package *meta*). However, this
paper does not consider arcsine or double arcsine transformed
proportions. Using arcsine or double arcsine transformed proportions and
corresponding standard errors should be okay as the SEs only depend on
the sample sizes: sqrt(0.25 * (1 / n) and sqrt(1 / (4 * n + 2)),
respectively.
Note, the use of funnel plots for single proportions has been discussed
before in the context of public health surveillance (Spiegelhalter,
2005; Dover & Schopflocher, 2012). In these publications, funnel plots
are based on untransformed proportions and sample size.
I will write a separate email regarding the very different results using
regtest() with argument model = "lm" or "rma" in *metafor* (and the
relation to R function metabias() in *meta*).
Best wishes,
Guido
References:
Dover DC, Schopflocher DP, 2011, Using funnel plots in public health
surveillance, Population Health Metrics, 9(1), p. 58
Hunter JP et al., 2014, In meta-analyses of proportion studies, funnel
plots were found to be an inaccurate method of assessing publication
bias, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 67(8), pp. 897-903
Rücker G et al., 2008, Arcsine test for publication bias in
meta-analyses with binary outcomes, Statistics in Medicine, 27(5), pp. 746-6
Spiegelhalter DJ, 2005, Funnel plots for comparing institutional
performance, Statistics in Medicine, 24(8), pp. 1185-202
--
Dr. Guido Schwarzer (sc at imbi.uni-freiburg.de)
Institute of Medical Biometry and Statistics
Stefan-Meier-Str. 26, D-79104 Freiburg | Phone: +49 (0)761 203 6668
http://www.imbi.uni-freiburg.de | Fax: +49 (0)761 203 6680
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