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Stat Med. 1989 May;8(5):551-61.

Flexible regression models with cubic splines.

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  • 1Biometric Research Branch, NCI, Bethesda, MD 20892.


We describe the use of cubic splines in regression models to represent the relationship between the response variable and a vector of covariates. This simple method can help prevent the problems that result from inappropriate linearity assumptions. We compare restricted cubic spline regression to non-parametric procedures for characterizing the relationship between age and survival in the Stanford Heart Transplant data. We also provide an illustrative example in cancer therapeutics.

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