Online Program

Designing an Observational Study with the Propensity Score

*Thomas Ezra Love, Case Western Reserve University 

Keywords: propensity score, study design, observational studies, selection bias

This workshop describes and demonstrates effective strategies for using propensity score methods to address the potential for selection bias in observational studies comparing exposures. We review the main analytical techniques associated with propensity score methods (multivariable adjustment, matching and stratification/weighting using the propensity score, sensitivity analysis) and describe key strategic concerns related to effective estimation of the propensity score, assessment and display of covariate balance, choice of analytic technique, sensitivity analyses for matched samples, and communicating results effectively. Although we will focus on common, established approaches to dealing with design and analytical challenges, we will conclude the session by reviewing some literature regarding recent methodological advances in propensity scores and application of propensity score methods to problems in health policy research. Attendees will receive detailed handouts, and access to easy-to-use statistical software to be demonstrated in the session.