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Comment on: ‘Vitruvian plot: a visualisation tool for multiple outcomes in network meta-analysis’
  1. Honghao Lai1,2,
  2. Mingyao Sun3,
  3. Bei Pan4,
  4. Long Ge1,2
  1. 1 Evidence-Based Social Science Research Center, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
  2. 2 Department of Social Medicine and Health Management, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
  3. 3 Evidence-Based Nursing Center, School of Nursing, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
  4. 4 Evidence-Based Medicine Center, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Long Ge, Evidence-Based Social Science Research Center, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu, China; gelong2009{at}

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Ostinelli et al developed an interesting visualisation tool, the Vitruvian plot, to present multiple outcomes in network meta-analysis.1 We write to make some suggestions and potential improvements.

First, to present the strength of statistical evidence, the authors colour the sectors according to the p values of a Z-test. According to the Cochran handbook,2 this could lead to over-reliance and misinterpretation of p values, and assertive judgements about imprecision. One solution is to use a partially contextualised approach, according to the guidance of the GRADE working group.3 This approach also encourages researchers to use absolute values. After choosing reference intervention, researchers …

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  • Contributors LG and BP conceived the idea. HL and MS designed and drawn the plot. HL wrote the first draft of the letter. LG and BP supervised the study. All authors critically revised the manuscript. HL is the guarantors. The corresponding author attests that all listed authors meet authorship criteria and that no others meeting the criteria have been omitted.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests No, there are no competing interests.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.