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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

CABRAL, Maria Deolinda Borges  and  LUIZ, Ronir Raggio. Sensitivity analysis for unmeasured confounders using an electronic spreadsheet. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.3, pp. 446-452. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102007000300017.

In studies assessing the effects of a given exposure variable and a specific outcome of interest, confusion may arise from the mistaken impression that the exposure variable is producing the outcome of interest, when in fact the observed effect is due to an existing confounder. However, quantitative techniques are rarely used to determine the potential influence of unmeasured confounders. Sensitivity analysis is a statistical technique that allows to quantitatively measuring the impact of an unmeasured confounding variable on the association of interest that is being assessed. The purpose of this study was to make it feasible to apply two sensitivity analysis methods available in the literature, developed by Rosenbaum and Greenland, using an electronic spreadsheet. Thus, it can be easier for researchers to include this quantitative tool in the set of procedures that have been commonly used in the stage of result validation.

Keywords : Statistical interpretation of data; Sensitivity analysis; Confounding [Epidemiology]; Observational studies; Electronic spreadsheet.

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