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Causal Effect Models for Realistic Individualized Treatment and Intention to Treat Rules

Author

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  • van der Laan Mark J.

    (Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Petersen Maya L

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

Marginal structural models (MSM) are an important class of models in causal inference. Given a longitudinal data structure observed on a sample of n independent and identically distributed experimental units, MSM model the counterfactual outcome distribution corresponding with a static treatment intervention, conditional on user-supplied baseline covariates. Identification of a static treatment regimen-specific outcome distribution based on observational data requires, beyond the standard sequential randomization assumption, the assumption that each experimental unit has positive probability of following the static treatment regimen. The latter assumption is called the experimental treatment assignment (ETA) assumption, and is parameter-specific. In many studies the ETA is violated because some of the static treatment interventions to be compared cannot be followed by all experimental units, due either to baseline characteristics or to the occurrence of certain events over time. For example, the development of adverse effects or contraindications can force a subject to stop an assigned treatment regimen.In this article we propose causal effect models for a user-supplied set of realistic individualized treatment rules. Realistic individualized treatment rules are defined as treatment rules which always map into the set of possible treatment options. Thus, causal effect models for realistic treatment rules do not rely on the ETA assumption and are fully identifiable from the data. Further, these models can be chosen to generalize marginal structural models for static treatment interventions. The estimating function methodology of Robins and Rotnitzky (1992) (analogue to its application in Murphy, et. al. (2001) for a single treatment rule) provides us with the corresponding locally efficient double robust inverse probability of treatment weighted estimator.In addition, we define causal effect models for intention-to-treat regimens. The proposed intention-to-treat interventions enforce a static intervention until the time point at which the next treatment does not belong to the set of possible treatment options, at which point the intervention is stopped. We provide locally efficient estimators of such intention-to-treat causal effects.

Suggested Citation

  • van der Laan Mark J. & Petersen Maya L, 2007. "Causal Effect Models for Realistic Individualized Treatment and Intention to Treat Rules," The International Journal of Biostatistics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-55, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:ijbist:v:3:y:2007:i:1:n:3
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cain Lauren E. & Robins James M. & Lanoy Emilie & Logan Roger & Costagliola Dominique & HernĂ¡n Miguel A., 2010. "When to Start Treatment? A Systematic Approach to the Comparison of Dynamic Regimes Using Observational Data," The International Journal of Biostatistics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-26, April.
    2. Biernot Peter & Moodie Erica E. M., 2010. "A Comparison of Variable Selection Approaches for Dynamic Treatment Regimes," The International Journal of Biostatistics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, January.
    3. Rich Benjamin & Moodie Erica E. M. & A. Stephens David, 2016. "Influence Re-weighted G-Estimation," The International Journal of Biostatistics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 157-177, May.
    4. van der Laan Mark J., 2010. "Targeted Maximum Likelihood Based Causal Inference: Part I," The International Journal of Biostatistics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-45, February.
    5. van der Laan Mark J. & Gruber Susan, 2010. "Collaborative Double Robust Targeted Maximum Likelihood Estimation," The International Journal of Biostatistics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-71, May.

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