STRengthening analytical thinking for observational studies

The STRATOS initiative

STRATOS initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The validity and practical utility of observational medical research depends critically on good study design, excellent data quality, appropriate statistical methods and accurate interpretation of results. Statistical methodology has seen substantial development in recent times. Unfortunately, many of these methodological developments are ignored in practice. Consequently, design and analysis of observational studies often exhibit serious weaknesses. The lack of guidance on vital practical issues discourages many applied researchers from using more sophisticated and possibly more appropriate methods when analyzing observational studies. Furthermore, many analyses are conducted by researchers with a relatively weak statistical background and limited experience in using statistical methodology and software. Consequently, even 'standard' analyses reported in the medical literature are often flawed, casting doubt on their results and conclusions. An efficient way to help researchers to keep up with recent methodological developments is to develop guidance documents that are spread to the research community at large. These observations led to the initiation of the strengthening analytical thinking for observational studies (STRATOS) initiative, a large collaboration of experts in many different areas of biostatistical research. The objective of STRATOS is to provide accessible and accurate guidance in the design and analysis of observational studies. The guidance is intended for applied statisticians and other data analysts with varying levels of statistical education, experience and interests.In this article, we introduce the STRATOS initiative and its main aims, present the need for guidance documents and outline the planned approach and progress so far. We encourage other biostatisticians to become involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5413-5432
Number of pages20
JournalStatistics in Medicine
Volume33
Issue number30
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 30 2014

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Observational Study
Strengthening
Observational Studies
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Statistical Education
Methodology
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Biomedical Research
Software
Education

Keywords

  • Guidance for analysis
  • Level of statistical knowledge
  • Observational studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics and Probability

Cite this

STRengthening analytical thinking for observational studies : The STRATOS initiative. / STRATOS initiative.

In: Statistics in Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 30, 30.12.2014, p. 5413-5432.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "The validity and practical utility of observational medical research depends critically on good study design, excellent data quality, appropriate statistical methods and accurate interpretation of results. Statistical methodology has seen substantial development in recent times. Unfortunately, many of these methodological developments are ignored in practice. Consequently, design and analysis of observational studies often exhibit serious weaknesses. The lack of guidance on vital practical issues discourages many applied researchers from using more sophisticated and possibly more appropriate methods when analyzing observational studies. Furthermore, many analyses are conducted by researchers with a relatively weak statistical background and limited experience in using statistical methodology and software. Consequently, even 'standard' analyses reported in the medical literature are often flawed, casting doubt on their results and conclusions. An efficient way to help researchers to keep up with recent methodological developments is to develop guidance documents that are spread to the research community at large. These observations led to the initiation of the strengthening analytical thinking for observational studies (STRATOS) initiative, a large collaboration of experts in many different areas of biostatistical research. The objective of STRATOS is to provide accessible and accurate guidance in the design and analysis of observational studies. The guidance is intended for applied statisticians and other data analysts with varying levels of statistical education, experience and interests.In this article, we introduce the STRATOS initiative and its main aims, present the need for guidance documents and outline the planned approach and progress so far. We encourage other biostatisticians to become involved.",
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