Accounting for bias due to a non-ignorable tracing mechanism in a retrospective breast cancer cohort study
Article first published online: 5 NOV 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Statistics in Medicine
Volume 30, Issue 4, pages 324–334, 20 February 2011
How to Cite
Titman, A. C., Lancaster, G. A., Carmichael, K. and Scutt, D. (2011), Accounting for bias due to a non-ignorable tracing mechanism in a retrospective breast cancer cohort study. Statist. Med., 30: 324–334. doi: 10.1002/sim.4118
- Issue published online: 10 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 5 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 SEP 2010
- Manuscript Received: 26 FEB 2010
- multi-state model;
- tracing bias;
- breast cancer;
We consider the analysis of competing risks in a retrospective breast cancer cohort study where tracing of patients is dependent on survival to a pre-specified truncation time. We demonstrate that if ignored, the observed cause-specific hazards will become distorted before the truncation time. Two approaches to account for the tracing bias are considered. First, a likelihood-based method using piecewise constant transition intensities under a Markov assumption. Second, a pseudo-likelihood method using inverse probability of tracing weights. For the breast cancer example, both methods improve the precision of estimates compared with a conventional approach based on excluding patients. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.