High-dimensional propensity score in adjusting for unmeasured confounders
What is the issue?
- High-dimensional propensity scores (hdPS) can adjust for measured confounders, but it remains unclear how well it can adjust for unmeasured confounders.
What is the aim of the study?
- Our goal was to identify if the hdPS method could adjust for confounders which were hidden to the hdPS algorithm.
How was the study conducted?
- The hdPS algorithm was used to estimate two hdPS; the first version (hdPS-1) was estimated using data provided by 6 data dimensions and the second version (hdPS-2) was estimated using data provided from only two of the 6 data dimensions.
- Two matched sub-cohorts were created by matching one patient initiated on a high-dose statin to one patient initiated on a low-dose statin based on either hdPS-1 (Matched hdPS Full Info Sub-Cohort) or hdPS-2 (Matched hdPS Hidden Info Sub-Cohort). Performances of both hdPS were compared by means of the absolute standardized differences (ASDD) regarding 18 characteristics (data on seven of the 18 characteristics were hidden to the hdPS algorithm when estimating the hdPS-2).
What did the study find?
- Eight out of the 18 characteristics were shown to be unbalanced within the unmatched cohort. Matching on either hdPS achieved adequate balance (i.e., ASDD <0.1) on all 18 characteristics.
- Our results indicate that the hdPS method was able to adjust for hidden confounders supporting the claim that the hdPS method can adjust for at least some unmeasured confounders.
Guertin JR, Rahme E, LeLorier J. Performance of the high-dimensional propensity score in adjusting for unmeasured confounders. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2016 Dec;72(12):1497-1505.