Book Details


Design of Observational Studies

Publication year: 2020

ISBN: 978-3-030-46405-9

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This book introduction to statistical inference in observational studies and a detailed discussion of the principles that guide the design of observational studies. An observational study is an empiric investigation of effects caused by treatments when randomized experimentation is unethical or infeasible. Observational studies are common in most fields that study the effects of treatments on people, including medicine, economics, epidemiology, education, psychology, political science and sociology. The quality and strength of evidence provided by an observational study is determined largely by its design. Design of Observational Studies is organized into five parts. Chapters 2, 3, and 5 of Part I cover concisely many of the ideas discussed in Rosenbaum’s Observational Studies. Part II discusses the practical aspects of using propensity scores and other tools to create a matched comparison that balances many covariates, and includes an updated chapter on matching in R. In Part III, the concept of design sensitivity is used to appraise the relative ability of competing designs to distinguish treatment effects from biases due to unmeasured covariates. Part IV discusses evidence factors and the computerized construction of more than one comparison group. Part V discusses planning the analysis of an observational study, with particular reference to Sir Ronald Fisher’s striking advice for observational studies: "make your theories elaborate."

Subject: Mathematics and Statistics, Statistical Theory and Methods, Probability Theory and Stochastic Processes, Econometrics, Biostatistics, Psychological Methods, Evaluation, Analysis, Causal inference, Statistical Inference, natural experiment, observational study, propensity score, sensitivity analysis, Methodology of the Social Sciences