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Can J Cardiol. 2016 Feb;32(2):259-65. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2015.05.015. Epub 2015 May 23.

A Review of Propensity-Score Methods and Their Use in Cardiovascular Research.

Author information

1
Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2
Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Institute of Clinical and Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
3
Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Institute of Clinical and Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
5
Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
6
Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: stephen.fremes@sunnybrook.ca.

Abstract

Observational studies using propensity-score methods have been increasing in the cardiovascular literature because randomized controlled trials are not always feasible or ethical. However, propensity-score methods can be confusing, and the general audience may not fully understand the importance of this technique. The objectives of this review are to describe (1) the fundamentals of propensity score methods, (2) the techniques to assess for propensity-score model adequacy, (3) the 4 major methods for using the propensity score (matching, stratification, covariate adjustment, and inverse probability of treatment weighting [IPTW]) using examples from previously published cardiovascular studies, and (4) the strengths and weaknesses of these 4 techniques. Our review suggests that matching or IPTW using the propensity score have shown to be most effective in reducing bias of the treatment effect.

PMID:
26315351
DOI:
10.1016/j.cjca.2015.05.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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