Survival plots of time-to-event outcomes in clinical trials: good practice and pitfalls


Pocock, SJ; Clayton, TC; Altman, DG; (2002) Survival plots of time-to-event outcomes in clinical trials: good practice and pitfalls. Lancet, 359 (9318). pp. 1686-9. ISSN 0140-6736 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08594-X

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Abstract

Survival plots of time-to-event data are a key component for reporting results of many clinical trials (and cohort studies). However, mistakes and distortions often arise in the display and interpretation of survival plots. This article aims to highlight such pitfalls and provide recommendations for future practice. Findings are illustrated by topical examples and also based on a survey of recent clinical trial publications in four major journals. Specific issues are: should plots go up or down (we recommend up), how far in time to extend the plot, showing the extent of follow-up, displaying statistical uncertainty by including SEs or CIS, and exercising caution when interpreting the shape of plots and the time-pattern of treatment difference.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Clinical Trials/*statistics & numerical data, Human, *Survival Analysis, Time Factors, Clinical Trials, statistics & numerical data, Human, Survival Analysis, Time Factors
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Medical Statistics
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 12020548
Web of Science ID: 175593300031
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/16664

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