Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Epidemiologic Methods

Edited by faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health

Ed. by Tchetgen Tchetgen, Eric J / VanderWeele, Tyler J. / Daniel, Rhian

1 Issue per year

See all formats and pricing
More options …

Imputation Strategies for the Estimation of Natural Direct and Indirect Effects

Stijn Vansteelandt / Maarten Bekaert / Theis Lange
Published Online: 2012-08-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/2161-962X.1014


Mediation analysis is widely adopted to infer causal mechanism by disentangling indirect or mediated effects of an exposure on an outcome through given intermediaries, from the remaining direct effect. Traditional approaches build on standard regression models for the outcome and mediator, but easily result in difficult-to-interpret or difficult-to-report results when some of these models involve non-linearities. In this article, we overcome this via a general class of so-called natural effect models, which directly parameterize the (natural) direct and indirect effects of interest. We propose flexible estimation strategies for the direct and indirect effect parameters indexing these models, that are easy to perform with standard statistical software: one based on regression mean imputation and one based on doubly robust imputation. We give a theoretical discussion of the properties of these estimation strategies. We moreover assess their finite-sample performance through a simulation study, and through the analysis of the WHO-LARES study on the association between residence in a damp and moldy dwelling and the risk of depression.

Keywords: causal inference; direct effect; indirect effect; mediation; imputation

About the article

Published Online: 2012-08-29

Citation Information: Epidemiologic Methods, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 131–158, ISSN (Online) 2161-962X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/2161-962X.1014.

Export Citation

©2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Bo Ahrén, Stephen L. Atkin, Guillaume Charpentier, Mark L. Warren, John P. H. Wilding, Sune Birch, Anders Gaarsdal Holst, and Lawrence A. Leiter
Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 2018
Johan Steen, Tom Loeys, Beatrijs Moerkerke, and Stijn Vansteelandt
American Journal of Epidemiology, 2017, Volume 186, Number 2, Page 184
Zoe Aitken, Julie Anne Simpson, Lyle Gurrin, Rebecca Bentley, and Anne Marie Kavanagh
International Journal of Epidemiology, 2018
Maria Pedersen, Ingrid Egerod, Dorthe Overgaard, Marie Baastrup, and Ingelise Andersen
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2017, Page 147451511774601
Theis Lange, Kim Wadt Hansen, Rikke Sørensen, and Søren Galatius
Epidemiology and Health, 2017, Volume 39, Page e2017035
Naja Hulvej Rod and Theis Lange
Epidemiology, 2017, Volume 28, Number 6, Page e60
Mikkel Porsborg Andersen, Liis Starkof, Maurizio Sessa, Rikke Nørmark Mortensen, Henrik Vardinghus-Nielsen, Henrik Bøggild, Theis Lange, and Christian Torp-Pedersen
BMC Public Health, 2017, Volume 17, Number 1
Anne P. Starling, John L. Adgate, Richard F. Hamman, Katerina Kechris, Antonia M. Calafat, Xiaoyun Ye, and Dana Dabelea
Environmental Health Perspectives, 2017, Volume 125, Number 6
Theis Lange, Mette Rasmussen, and Lau Caspar Thygesen
American Journal of Epidemiology, 2014, Volume 179, Number 4, Page 513
Bianca L. De Stavola, Rhian M. Daniel, George B. Ploubidis, and Nadia Micali
American Journal of Epidemiology, 2015, Volume 181, Number 1, Page 64
Quynh C. Nguyen, Theresa L. Osypuk, Nicole M. Schmidt, M. Maria Glymour, and Eric J. Tchetgen Tchetgen
American Journal of Epidemiology, 2015, Volume 181, Number 5, Page 349
Theis Lange and Liis Starkopf
Epidemiology, 2016, Volume 27, Number 5, Page 677
Tyler J. VanderWeele and Eric J. Tchetgen Tchetgen
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B (Statistical Methodology), 2017, Volume 79, Number 3, Page 917
Aolin Wang and Onyebuchi A. Arah
European Journal of Epidemiology, 2015, Volume 30, Number 10, Page 1119
R. M. Daniel, B. L. De Stavola, S. N. Cousens, and S. Vansteelandt
Biometrics, 2015, Volume 71, Number 1, Page 1
Tyler J. VanderWeele and Whitney R. Robinson
Epidemiology, 2014, Volume 25, Number 4, Page 473
Tom Loeys, Beatrijs Moerkerke, Olivia De Smet, Ann Buysse, Johan Steen, and Stijn Vansteelandt
Multivariate Behavioral Research, 2013, Volume 48, Number 6, Page 871

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in