Estimating Causal Treatment Effects via the Propensity Score and Estimating Survival Distributions in Clinical Trials That Follow Two-Stage Randomization Designs

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Title: Estimating Causal Treatment Effects via the Propensity Score and Estimating Survival Distributions in Clinical Trials That Follow Two-Stage Randomization Designs
Author: Lunceford, Jared Kenneth
Advisors: Marie Davidian, Chair
Anastasios Tsiatis, Member
Dennis Boos, Member
Daowen Zhang, Member
Abstract: Estimation of treatment effects with causalinterpretation from obervational data is complicated by the fact thatexposure to treatment is confounded with subject characteristics. Thepropensity score, the probability of exposure to treatment conditionalon covariates, is the basis for two competing classes of approachesfor adjusting for confounding: methods based on stratification ofobservations by quantiles of estimated propensity scores, and methods based on weighting individual observations by weights depending onestimated propensity scores. We review these approaches andinvestigate their relative performance.Some clinical trials follow a design in which patientsare randomized to a primary therapy upon entry followed by anotherrandomization to maintenance therapy contingent upon diseaseremission. Ideally, analysis would allow different treatmentpolicies, i.e. combinations of primary and maintenance therapy ifspecified up-front, to be compared. Standard practice is to conductseparate analyses for the primary and follow-up treatments, which doesnot address this issue directly. We propose consistent estimators ofthe survival distribution and mean survival time for each treatmentpolicy in such two-stage studies and derive large sampleproperties. The methods are demonstrated on a leukemia clinical trialdata set and through simulation.
Date: 2001-08-15
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Statistics
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3640


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