Investigating the assumptions of the self-controlled case series method.

Whitaker, Heather J; Ghebremichael-Weldeselassie, Yonas; Douglas, Ian J.; Smeeth, Liam and Farrington, C. Paddy (2018). Investigating the assumptions of the self-controlled case series method. Statistics in Medicine, 37(4) pp. 643–658.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/sim.7536

Abstract

We describe some simple techniques for investigating two key assumptions of the self-controlled case series (SCCS) method, namely that events do not influence subsequent exposures, and that events do not influence the length of observation periods. For each assumption we propose some simple tests based on the standard SCCS model, along with associated graphical displays. The methods also enable the user to investigate the robustness of the results obtained using the standard SCCS model to failure of assumptions. The proposed methods are investigated by simulations, and applied to data on measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, and antipsychotics.

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