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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reducing bias in cancer research: Application of propensity score matching

  • Author(s): Reeve, BB
  • Smith, AW
  • Arora, NK
  • Hays, RD
  • et al.

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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