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date: 12 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the use of Bayesian causal inference, and more specifically the posterior predictive approach of Rubin’s causal model (RCM) and methods of principal stratification, in estimating the effects of ‘treating hospital type’ on cancer survival. Using the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, as a case study, the article investigates which type of hospital (large patient volume vs. small volume) is superior for treating certain serious conditions. The study examines which factors may reasonably be considered ignorable in the context of covariates available, as well as non-compliance complications due to transfers between hospital types for treatment. The article first provides an overview of the general Bayesian approach to causal inference, primarily with ignorable treatment assignment, before introducing the proposed approach and motivating it using simple method-of-moments summary statistics. Finally, the results of simulation using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods are presented.

Keywords: causal inference, posterior predictive approach, Rubin’s causal model (RCM), principal stratification, cancer survival, Karolinska Institute, non-compliance complications, treating hospital type, treatment assignment, Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods

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