Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Transportability of Trial Results Using Inverse Odds of Sampling Weights

TitleTransportability of Trial Results Using Inverse Odds of Sampling Weights
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsWestreich, D, Edwards, JK, Lesko, CR, Stuart, E, Cole, SR
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number00029262 (ISSN)
Keywordscausal inference, Epidemiologic methods, External validity, Generalizability, human, randomized controlled trial, sampling, scientist, Transportability

Increasingly, the statistical and epidemiologic literature is focusing beyond issues of internal validity and turning its attention to questions of external validity. Here, we discuss some of the challenges of transporting a causal effect from a randomized trial to a specific target population. We present an inverse odds weighting approach that can easily operationalize transportability. We derive these weights in closed form and illustrate their use with a simple numerical example. We discuss how the conditions required for the identification of internally valid causal effects are translated to apply to the identification of externally valid causal effects. Estimating effects in target populations is an important goal, especially for policy or clinical decisions. Researchers and policy-makers should therefore consider use of statistical techniques such as inverse odds of sampling weights, which under careful assumptions can transport effect estimates from study samples to target populations. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved.