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Health Care Financ Rev. 2008 Summer;29(4):69-80.

Reducing bias in cancer research: application of propensity score matching.

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  • 1National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, MD 20892-7344, USA.


In cancer observational studies, differences between groups on confounding variables may have a significant effect on results when examining health outcomes. This study demonstrates the utility of propensity score matching to balance a non-cancer and cancer cohort of older adults on multiple relevant covariates. This approach matches cases to controls on a single indicator, the propensity score, rather than multiple variables. Results indicated that propensity score matching is an efficient and useful way to create a matched case-control study out of a large cohort study, and allows confidence in the strength of the observed outcomes of the study.

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