Keywords: network meta-analysis, personalized medicine, crossover studies, individual treatment effects, comparative effectiveness, patient-centered outcomes
N-of-1 trials are single-patient multiple-crossover studies for determining the relative effectiveness of treatments for an individual participant. Although N-of-1 trials are designed to estimate treatment efficacy in single patients, N-of-1 trials assessing the same scientific questions may be combined together and analyzed with a multilevel model so that in aggregate they increase the information about each patient by borrowing of strength. When the treatments compared differ between trials, it may be possible to construct a network of treatments and use network meta-analysis methods to make comparisons among the treatments both at the individual and population levels. We will compare results from network analytical models with those from analyses of individual data alone. We will use data from a series of N-of-1 trials in an ongoing study assessing different treatments for chronic pain to demonstrate the application of hierarchical models for N-of-1 data.