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      An Introduction to Propensity Score Methods for Reducing the Effects of Confounding in Observational Studies

      1 , *

      Multivariate Behavioral Research

      Taylor & Francis

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          Abstract

          The propensity score is the probability of treatment assignment conditional on observed baseline characteristics. The propensity score allows one to design and analyze an observational (nonrandomized) study so that it mimics some of the particular characteristics of a randomized controlled trial. In particular, the propensity score is a balancing score: conditional on the propensity score, the distribution of observed baseline covariates will be similar between treated and untreated subjects. I describe 4 different propensity score methods: matching on the propensity score, stratification on the propensity score, inverse probability of treatment weighting using the propensity score, and covariate adjustment using the propensity score. I describe balance diagnostics for examining whether the propensity score model has been adequately specified. Furthermore, I discuss differences between regression-based methods and propensity score-based methods for the analysis of observational data. I describe different causal average treatment effects and their relationship with propensity score analyses.

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          Most cited references 79

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          Observational Studies

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            Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review

             Guido Imbens (2004)
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              Marginal Structural Models and Causal Inference in Epidemiology

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Multivariate Behav Res
                hmbr
                Multivariate Behavioral Research
                Taylor & Francis
                0027-3171
                1532-7906
                8 June 2011
                May 2011
                : 46
                : 3
                : 399-424
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Department of Health Management, Policy and Evaluation, University of Toronto
                Author notes
                *Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Peter C. Austin, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, G1 06, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4N 3M5, Canada. E-mail: peter.austin@ 123456ices.on.ca
                Article
                10.1080/00273171.2011.568786
                3144483
                21818162
                © 2011 Taylor & Francis

                This is an open access article distributed under the Supplemental Terms and Conditions for iOpenAccess articles published in Taylor & Francis journals , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry

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