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Table 3 Results of the stratified meta-analyses

From: Assessing the effect of interventions for axial spondyloarthritis according to the endorsed ASAS/OMERACT core outcome set: a meta-research study of trials included in Cochrane reviews

Variable No. of trials/comparisons SMD 95% CI I2 Tau2 P for interaction
All trials, physical function 33/43 − 0.50 − 0.61, − 0.40 64% 0.07
Fixed-effect model   − 0.53 − 0.57, − 0.45    
 Intervention      0.08 0.42
Pharmacological   − 0.53 − 0.64, − 0.42    
Non-pharmacological   − 0.40 − 0.74, − 0.05    
 Intervention      0.08 0.44
Biological treatment   − 0.57 − 0.68, − 0.46    
Other treatment   − 0.46 − 0.63, − 0.28    
All trials, pain 30/41 − 0.48 − 0.66, − 0.30 87% 0.28
Fixed-effect model   − 0.50 − 0.56, − 0.44    
 Intervention      0.19 < 0.001
Pharmacological   − 0.64 − 0.78, − 0.49    
Non-pharmacological   0.26 − 0.20, 0.72    
 Intervention      0.29 0.28
Biological treatment   − 0.64 − 0.80, − 0-49    
Other treatment   − 0.41 − 0.68, − 0.14    
All trials, spinal mobility 30/45 − 0.32 − 0.48, − 0.17 83% 0.21
Fixed-effect model   − 0.32 − 0.38, − 0.26    
 Intervention      0.19 0.28
Pharmacological   − 0.35 − 0.51, − 0.19    
Non-pharmacological   − 0.02 − 0.61, 0.56    
 Intervention      0.33 0.65
Biological treatment   − 0.31 − 0.47, − 0.15    
Other treatment   − 0.28 − 0.52, − 0.03    
All trials, spinal stiffness 25/34 − 0.59 − 0.74, − 0.44 75% 0.14
Fixed-effect model   − 0.61 − 0.68, − 0.54    
 Intervention      0.18 0.95
Pharmacological   − 0.60 − 0.76, − 0.44    
Non-pharmacological   − 0.61 − 0.93, − 0.29    
 Intervention      0.16 0.34
Biological treatment   − 0.77 − 0.88, − 0.65    
Other treatment   − 0.55 − 0.75, − 0.35    
All trials, PGA 21/28 − 0.71 − 0.89, − 0.54 83% 0.18
Fixed-effect model   − 0.74 − 0.81, − 0.67    
 Intervention      0.19 0.15
Pharmacological   − 0.77 − 0.96, − 0.59    
Non-pharmacological   − 0.37 − 0.81, 0.07    
 Intervention       
Biological treatment   − 0.84 − 1.09, − 0.60   0.20 0.23
Other treatment   − 0.60 − 0.87, − 0.34    
All trials, PJ/E 15/15 0.05 − 0.11, 0.22 68% 0.06
Fixed-effect model   0.00 − 0.08, 0.09    
 Intervention      0.00 < 0.001
Pharmacological   − 0.06 − 0.15, 0.03    
Non-pharmacological   0.99 0.63, 1.35    
 Intervention      0.04 0.02
Biological treatment   − 0.10 − 0.20, − 0.01    
Other treatment   0.27 − 0.10, 0.64    
All trials, acute phase reactants 27/31 − 0.51 − 0.70, − 0.32 84% 0.22
Fixed-effect model   − 0.62 − 0.69, − 0.55    
 Intervention     
Pharmacological   − 0.51 − 0.70, − 0.32    
Non-pharmacological     
 Intervention      0.12 0.001
Biological treatment   − 0.77 − 1.02, − 0.52    
Other treatment   − 0.22 − 0.37, − 0.07   −0.07  
All trials, spine radiographs 1/1 0.96 0.22, 1.69
Fixed-effect model     
 Intervention     
Pharmacological     
Non-pharmacological     
 Intervention       
Biological treatment       
Other treatment   0.96 0.22, 1.69    
All trials, fatigue 3/4 − 0.65 − 0.82, − 0.48 0% 0.00
Fixed-effect model   − 0.65 − 0.82, − 0.48    
 Intervention     
Pharmacological   − 0.65 − 0.82, − 0.48    
Non-pharmacological     
 Intervention     
Biological treatment   − 0.65 − 0.82, −0.48    
Other treatment       
  1. SMD standardized mean difference, CI confidence interval, I2 inconsistency (i.e., the percentage of total variation across studies due to heterogeneity), Tau2 tau squared is an estimate of the variance of the true effect sizes, PJ/E peripheral joint count/enthesitis index