Carers Health-Related Quality of Life in Global Health Technology Assessment: Guidance, Case Studies and Recommendations


To assess the performance of unanchored matching-adjusted indirect comparison (MAIC) by matching on first moments or higher moments in a cross-study comparisons under a variety of conditions. A secondary objective was to gauge the performance of the method relative to propensity score weighting (PSW).
A simulation study was designed based on an oncology example, where MAIC was used to account for differences between a contemporary trial in which patients had more favorable characteristics and a historical control. A variety of scenarios were then tested varying the setup of the simulation study, including violating the implicit or explicit assumptions of MAIC.
Under ideal conditions and under a variety of scenarios, MAIC performed well (shown by a low mean absolute error [MAE]) and was unbiased (shown by a mean error [ME] of about zero). The performance of the method deteriorated where the matched characteristics had low explanatory power or there was poor overlap between studies. Only when important characteristics are not included in the matching did the method become biased (nonzero ME). Where the method showed poor performance, this was exaggerated if matching was also performed on the variance (ie, higher moments). Relative to PSW, MAIC provided similar results in most circumstances, although it exhibited slightly higher MAE and a higher chance of exaggerating bias.
MAIC appears well suited to adjust for cross-trial comparisons provided the assumptions underpinning the model are met, with relatively little efficiency loss compared with PSW.

Value in Health
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