Monday, 10 March 2014

Man at work(-ish)

Perhaps one could argue that the obvious, manly activity to do at the weekend when you're home alone is to put and organise stuff in the garage. Well, I was home alone last weekend and my very own version of this was to arxiv the first paper coming out from our research on the regression discontinuity design (RDD) $-$ I know: probably *not* so manly. I did watch rugby and football, though...

The main of points of the papers are these:

1. How and why the RDD can be effectively applied to primary care data. The RDD works when there is some sort of external guideline that decides the allocation to some intervention $-$ drugs are often regulated so that patients with a certain profile should be given them (although, as we discuss, this is often a lot less clear cut...);
2. The implications of including genuine prior information in such an analysis. In our case study (prescription of statins), there's typically a lot of evidence coming from RCTs; and this may be the case in other areas where a recommendation exists to regulate prescriptions.

I think the plan is to explore next a few interesting (both methodological and substantial) matters, such as how this can be extended to non-continuous outcomes, or used to identify the "optimal" threshold for prescription, based on available primary care data (in addition to RCTs evidence).

The paper can be downloaded here.

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