Estimating dichotomised outcomes in two groups with unequal variances: a distributional approach

O Sauzet, J L Peacock
Statistics in Medicine 2014 November 20, 33 (26): 4547-59
Dichotomisation in medical research is sometimes necessary for decision-making or communication purposes. This practice has been criticised in the case of continuous data, and it has been said that means should be compared instead. However when the two groups have unequal variances, comparing means might not show the whole picture as a particular group with a risk defined by a threshold in an outcome may have been affected differently by an intervention than when there is a simple shift of distribution. A statistically sound method using a distributional approach for the dichotomisation of normally distributed outcomes has been described under the assumption of equal variances. This assumption is not sustainable in some situations, and in this work, we develop the method further to cover the case of unequal variances. Through examples from the literature and our own data, we illustrate the effect of unequal variance on dichotomised estimates and present a validation of the method through simulations.


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

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

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"