Box 181a Potential benefits of IPD

IPD may be beneficial in the following situations.

• Many studies are unpublished or published only in the grey literature.

• There is poor reporting of studies (e.g. information presented is inadequate, selective or ambiguous).

• A high proportion of individuals has been excluded from published analyses.

• Obtaining additional longer-term outcome data beyond that reported may provide useful insights (e.g. for mortality or child development outcomes).

• Outcome measures have been defined differently across studies.

• Time-to-event outcome measures are required.

• Multivariate or other complex analyses are required.

• Exploration of interactions between interventions and patient-level characteristics is important.

project should culminate in the preparation and dissemination of a structured report. An IPD review might also include a meeting at which results are presented and discussed with the collaborating researchers.

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