Propensity scores: Methods, considerations, and applications in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

Timothy L. McMurry, Yinin Hu, Eugene H. Blackstone, Benjamin D. Kozower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To review the published literature using propensity scoring, describe shortcomings in the use of this technique, and provide conceptual background for understanding and correctly implementing studies that use propensity matching. Methods We survey the published statistical literature and make recommendations for a set of standard criteria for studies that use propensity matching. We evaluated adherence to these criteria in recent publications in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and determined how well the standards were applied. Results We found that studies that use propensity matching are rarely documented well enough to be convincing in their results. When documentation is available, statistical shortcomings are common. Conclusions Improved statistical practice is needed when using propensity scoring. This article suggests standard criteria for using this method in Journal publications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Volume150
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Key Words propensity score
  • causal inference
  • matching
  • observational studies
  • statistical methods

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