Some methods of propensity-score matching had superior performance to others: results of an empirical investigation and Monte Carlo simulations

Peter C Austin
Biometrical Journal. Biometrische Zeitschrift 2009, 51 (1): 171-84
Propensity-score matching is increasingly being used to reduce the impact of treatment-selection bias when estimating causal treatment effects using observational data. Several propensity-score matching methods are currently employed in the medical literature: matching on the logit of the propensity score using calipers of width either 0.2 or 0.6 of the standard deviation of the logit of the propensity score; matching on the propensity score using calipers of 0.005, 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, and 0.1; and 5 --> 1 digit matching on the propensity score. We conducted empirical investigations and Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the relative performance of these competing methods. Using a large sample of patients hospitalized with a heart attack and with exposure being receipt of a statin prescription at hospital discharge, we found that the 8 different methods produced propensity-score matched samples in which qualitatively equivalent balance in measured baseline variables was achieved between treated and untreated subjects. Seven of the 8 propensity-score matched samples resulted in qualitatively similar estimates of the reduction in mortality due to statin exposure. 5 --> 1 digit matching resulted in a qualitatively different estimate of relative risk reduction compared to the other 7 methods. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we found that matching using calipers of width of 0.2 of the standard deviation of the logit of the propensity score and the use of calipers of width 0.02 and 0.03 tended to have superior performance for estimating treatment effects.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"