Observational Research Using Propensity Scores.

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2016-11

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Abstract

In most observational studies, treatments or other "exposures" (in an epidemiologic sense) do not occur at random. Instead, treatments or other such interventions depend on several patient-related and patient-independent characteristics. Such factors, associated with the receipt vs nonreceipt of treatment, may also be-independently-associated with outcomes. Thus, confounding exists making it difficult to ascertain the true association between treatments and outcomes. Propensity scores (PS) represent an intuitive set of approaches to reduce the influence of such "confounding" factors. PS is a computed probability of treatment, a value that is estimated for each patient in an observational study and then applied (in a variety of ways such as matching, stratification, weighting, etc.) to reduce distortion in the true nature of the association between treatment (or any similar exposure) and outcomes. Despite several advantages, PS-based methods cannot account for unmeasured confounding, ie, for factors that are not being included in the computation of PS.

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Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1053/j.ackd.2016.11.010

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Raghunathan, Karthik, J Bradley Layton, Tetsu Ohnuma and Andrew D Shaw (2016). Observational Research Using Propensity Scores. Adv Chronic Kidney Dis, 23(6). pp. 367–372. 10.1053/j.ackd.2016.11.010 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15114.

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Scholars@Duke

Raghunathan

Karthik Raghunathan

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology

Dr. Karthik Raghunathan is an Associate Professor with Tenure in the Department of Anesthesiology, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Population Health Sciences, at the Duke University School of Medicine and is a Staff Physician at the Durham Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. He is co-director of the Critical care And Perioperative population hEalth Research (CAPER) Program. 

In addition to clinical practice as an anesthesiologist and intensive care physician, Dr. Raghunathan is an epidemiologist and health services researcher with over $2 Million in funding from Federal, Industry, and Non-Profit entities since 2015. He co-directs the Critical care and Perioperative Population Health Research (CAPER) program, generating and disseminating evidence to inform clinical practice guidelines.

His studies focus on: a) the comparative effectiveness and safety of procedures and medications used for acute postoperative pain management, fluid resuscitation during surgery and intensive care; b) the implementation and effectiveness of nonpharmacologic treatments, such as music medicine and peripheral neuromodulation, and c) reducing race, sex, and income-based inequities in treatments and outcomes.

Dr. Raghunathan collaborates with colleagues within Duke, as well as colleagues at Academically affiliated other VA Healthcare Systems. He welcomes collaboration and can be reached at kr118@duke.edu. 

Ohnuma

Tetsu Ohnuma

Assistant Professor in Anesthesiology

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