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Efficient and robust methods for causally interpretable meta-analysis: transporting inferences from multiple randomized trials to a target population

08/24/2019
by   Issa J. Dahabreh, et al.
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We present methods for causally interpretable meta-analyses that combine information from multiple randomized trials to estimate potential (counterfactual) outcome means and average treatment effects in a target population. We consider identifiability conditions and obtain identification results for transporting causal inferences from a collection of independent randomized trials to a new target population in which experimental data are not available. We propose estimators for potential outcome means and average treatment effects in the target population that use covariate, treatment, and outcome data from the collection of trials, but only covariate data from the target population sample. We show that the estimators are doubly robust, in the sense that they remain consistent and asymptotically normal under misspecification of some of the working models on which they rely. We study the finite sample properties of the estimators in simulation studies and demonstrate their implementation using data from a multi-center clinical trial.

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