Skip to content

Exploiting nonsystematic covariate monitoring to broaden the scope of evidence about the causal effects of adaptive treatment strategies

In studies based on electronic health records (EHR), the frequency of covariate monitoring can vary by covariate type, across patients, and over time, which can limit the generalizability of inferences about the effects of adaptive treatment strategies. In addition, monitoring is a health intervention in itself with costs and benefits, and stakeholders may be interested in the effect of monitoring when adopting adaptive treatment strategies. This paper demonstrates how to exploit nonsystematic covariate monitoring in EHR-based studies to both improve the generalizability of causal inferences and to evaluate the health impact of monitoring when evaluating adaptive treatment strategies. Using a real world, EHR-based, comparative effectiveness research (CER) study of patients with type II diabetes mellitus, we illustrate how the evaluation of joint dynamic treatment and static monitoring interventions can improve CER evidence and describe two alternate estimation approaches based on inverse probability weighting (IPW). First, we demonstrate the poor performance of the standard estimator of the effects of joint treatment-monitoring interventions, due to a large decrease in data support and concerns over finite-sample bias from near-violations of the positivity assumption (PA) for the monitoring process. Second, we detail an alternate IPW estimator using a no direct effect assumption. We demonstrate that this estimator can improve efficiency but at the potential cost of increase in bias from violations of the PA for the treatment process.

Authors: Kreif N; Sofrygin O; Schmittdiel JA; Adams AS; Grant RW; Zhu Z; van der Laan MJ; Neugebauer R

Biometrics. 2020 Apr 15.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top