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Most Downloaded Articles
- An Introduction to Causal Inference by Pearl, Judea
- Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies with Unmeasured Confounders by McCandless, Lawrence C.
- Accuracy of Conventional and Marginal Structural Cox Model Estimators: A Simulation Study by Xiao, Yongling/ Abrahamowicz, Michal and Moodie, Erica E. M.
- Evaluating treatment effectiveness in patient subgroups: a comparison of propensity score methods with an automated matching approach by Radice, Rosalba/ Ramsahai, Roland/ Grieve, Richard/ Kreif, Noemi/ Sadique, Zia and Sekhon, Jasjeet S.
- Special Issue on Causal Inference in Health Research by Moodie, Erica E. M./ Kaufman, Jay S. and Platt, Robert W.
Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies with Unmeasured Confounders
1Simon Fraser University
Citation Information: The International Journal of Biostatistics. Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 1–31, ISSN (Online) 1557-4679, DOI: 10.2202/1557-4679.1350, January 2012
- Published Online:
Meta-analysis of observational studies is an exciting new area of innovation in statistical science. Unlike randomized controlled trials, which are the gold standard for proving causation, observational studies are prone to biases including confounding. In this article, we describe a novel Bayesian procedure to control for a confounder that is missing across the sequence of studies in a meta-analysis. We motivate the discussion with the example of a meta-analysis of cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies examining the relationship between oral contraceptives and endometriosis. An important unmeasured confounder is dysmennoreah, which is an indication for oral contraceptive use. To adjust for unmeasured confounding, we combine random effects models with probabilistic sensitivity analysis techniques. Information about the unmeasured confounder is incorporated into the analysis via prior distributions, and we use MCMC to sample from posterior.