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Using Propensity Score Matching in Clinical Investigations: A Discussion and Illustration
Pages 208-216
Carrie Hosman and Hitinder S. Gurm
Published: 21 May 2015

Abstract: Propensity score matching is a useful tool to analyze observational data in clinical investigations, but it is often executed in an overly simplistic manner, failing to use the data in the best possible way. This review discusses current best practices in propensity score matching, outlining the method’s essential steps, including appropriate post-matching balance assessments and sensitivity analyses. These steps are summarized as eight key traits of a propensity matched study. Further, this review illustrates these traits through a case study examining the impact of access site in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures on bleeding complications. Through propensity score matching, we find that bleeding occurs significantly less often with radial access procedures, though many other outcomes show no significant difference by access site, a finding that mirrors the results of randomized controlled trials. Lack of attention to methodological principles can result in results that are not biologically plausible.

Keywords: Propensity Score Matching, Observational Data, Clinical Investigations.

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