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Snapshot of Statistical Methods Used in Geriatric Cohort Studies: How Do We Treat Missing Data in Publications?
Pages 289-296
Diklah Geva, Danit Shahar, Tamara Harris, Sigal Tepper, Geert Molenberghs and Michael Friger
Published: 31 October 2013Open Access

Abstract: Background: Geriatric studies often miss data of frail participants. The aim of this paper is to explore which missing data methodologies have entered current practice and to discuss the potential impact of ignoring the issue.

Methods: A Sample of 103 articles was drawn from key cohort studies: Health ABC, InCHIANTI, LASA, BLSA, EPESE, and KLoSHA. The studies wereclassified according to missing data methodologies used.

Results: Seventy-seven percent described the selected analysis data set and only 28% used a method of handling all available observations per case. Missing data dedicated methods were rare (< 10%), applying single or multiple imputations for baseline variables. Studies with longer follow-up periods more often employed longitudinal analysis methodologies.

Conclusions: Despite the recognition that missing data is a major problem in studies of older persons, few published studies account for missing data using limited methodologies; this could affect the validity of study conclusions. We propose researchers apply Joint Modeling of longitudinal and time-to-event data, using shared-parameter model.

Keywords: Missing data, geriatric cohort studies, methodologies review, longitudinal analysis.
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