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An experiment in primary health care provision

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Missing data and, more generally, imperfections in implementing a study design are an endemic problem in large scale studies involving human subjects. We present an analysis of an experiment in the interaction between general practitioners and their patients, in which the issue of missing data is addressed by a sensitivity analysis using multiple imputation. Instead of specifying a model for missingness we explore certain extreme ways of departing from the assumption of data missing at random and establish the largest extent of such departures which would still fail to supplant the evidence about the studied effect. An important advantage of the approach is that the algorithm intended for the complete data, to fit generalized linear models with random effects, is used without any alteration.

Keywords: Experimental design; Missing data; Random effects; Randomization; Sensitivity analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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