Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Double-adjustment can be used to remove confounding if imbalance exists after propensity score (PS) matching. However, it is not always possible to include all covariates in adjustment. We aimed to find the optimal imbalance threshold for entering covariates into regression.We conducted a series of Monte Carlo simulations on virtual populations of 5,000 subjects. We performed PS 1:1 nearest-neighbor matching on each sample. We calculated standardized mean differences across groups to detect any remaining imbalance in the matched samples. We examined 25 thresholds (from 0.01 to 0.25, stepwise 0.01) for considering residual imbalance. The treatment effect was estimated using logistic regression that contained only those covariates considered to be unbalanced by these thresholds.We showed that regression adjustment could dramatically remove residual confounding bias when it included all of the covariates with a standardized difference greater than 0.10. The additional benefit was negligible when we also adjusted for covariates with less imbalance. We found that the mean squared error of the estimates was minimized under the same conditions.If covariate balance is not achieved, we recommend reiterating PS modeling until standardized differences below 0.10 are achieved on most covariates. In case of remaining imbalance, a double adjustment might be worth considering.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/s12874-017-0338-0

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMC medical research methodology

Publication Date

28/04/2017

Volume

17

Addresses

Departments of Anesthesia & Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michael DeGroote School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University and the Perioperative Research Group, Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton, Canada.