Performing both propensity score and instrumental variable analyses in observational studies often leads to discrepant results: a systematic review

Abstract : OBJECTIVES: Propensity score (PS) and instrumental variable (IV) are analytical techniques used to adjust for confounding in observational research. More and more, they seem to be used simultaneously in studies evaluating health interventions. The present review aimed to analyze the agreement between PS and IV results in medical research published to date. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Review of all published observational studies that evaluated a clinical intervention using simultaneously PS and IV analyses, as identified in MEDLINE and Web of Science. RESULTS: Thirty-seven studies, most of them published during the previous 5 years, reported 55 comparisons between results from PS and IV analyses. There was a slight/fair agreement between the methods [Cohen's kappa coefficient = 0.21 (95% confidence interval: 0.00, 0.41)]. In 23 cases (42%), results were nonsignificant for one method and significant for the other, and IV analysis results were nonsignificant in most situations (87%). CONCLUSION: Discrepancies are frequent between PS and IV analyses and can be interpreted in various ways. This suggests that researchers should carefully consider their analytical choices, and readers should be cautious when interpreting results, until further studies clarify the respective roles of the two methods in observational comparative effectiveness research.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-01814839
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 3:39:04 PM
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Hervé Laborde-Castérot, Nelly Agrinier, Nathalie Thilly. Performing both propensity score and instrumental variable analyses in observational studies often leads to discrepant results: a systematic review. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Elsevier, 2015, 68 (10), pp.1232 - 1240. ⟨10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.04.003⟩. ⟨hal-01814839⟩

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