In occupational case-control studies, work-related exposure assessments are often fallible measures of the true underlying exposure. In lieu of a gold standard, often more than 2 imperfect measurements (e.g. triads) are used to assess exposure. While methods exist to assess the diagnostic accuracy in the absence of a gold standard, these methods are infrequently used to correct for measurement error in exposure-disease associations in occupational case-control studies. Here, we present a likelihood-based approach that (a) provides evidence regarding whether the misclassification of tests is differential or nondifferential; (b) provides evidence whether the misclassification of tests is independent or dependent conditional on latent exposure status, and (c) estimates the measurement error-corrected exposure-disease association. These approaches use information from all imperfect assessments simultaneously in a unified manner, which in turn can provide a more accurate estimate of exposure-disease association than that based on individual assessments. The performance of this method is investigated through simulation studies and applied to the National Occupational Hazard Survey, a case-control study assessing the association between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.
- Case-control study
- Gold standard
- Missing data
- Occupational exposure assessment