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Rank-based principal stratum sensitivity analyses



We describe rank-based approaches to assess principal stratification treatment effects in studies where the outcome of interest is only well-defined in a subgroup selected after randomization. Our methods are sensitivity analyses, in that estimands are identified by fixing a parameter and then we investigate the sensitivity of results by varying this parameter over a range of plausible values. We present three rank-based test statistics and compare their performance through simulations, and provide recommendations. We also study three different bootstrap approaches for determining levels of significance. Finally, we apply our methods to two studies: an HIV vaccine trial and a prostate cancer prevention trial. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.