Invited commentary: Advancing propensity score methods in epidemiology

J. Michael Oakes, Timothy R. Church

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Every epidemiologist knows that unmeasured confounding is a serious analytic problem, but practically speaking, there seems to be little one can do about it. In this issue of the Journal, Stürmer et al. (Am J Epidemiol 2007:165:1110-18) offer a novel solution that combines propensity score matching methods with measurement error regression models. They call this technique "propensity score calibration" (PSC) and assess its strengths and limitations with simulated data. Their analyses demonstrate that PSC greatly improves inference when the critical assumption of surrogacy holds, but when surrogacy does not hold, PSC estimation can exacerbate bias relative to uncorrected propensity score models. The benefits of propensity score methods (and PSC) lie not only with potentially improved effect estimation but with conceptualization and practice as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1121
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Bias (epidemiology)
  • Cohort studies
  • Confounding factors (epidemiology)
  • Epidemiologic methods
  • Models, statistical
  • Propensity score calibration
  • Research design


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