Erasmus Summer Programme Courses

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Causal Mediation Analysis [ESP69]

Course highlights

ECTS

0.7

Start date

21 August 2017

End date

25 August 2017

Course days

Monday to Friday (5 mornings)

Course time

From 8:45 till 11:45

Faculty

Dr. Linda Valeri

Course fee

€ 710

Location

Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL

Level

Advanced

Prerequisites

Familiarity with linear and logistic regression will be required to fully benefit from the course.

Disciplines

  • Advanced Statistics
  • Biostatistics
  • Methodology

Course Materials

Online, download instructions will be sent in August by e-mail.

Recommended book:
VanderWeele, T.J. (2015). Explanation in Causal Inference: Methods for Mediation and Interaction. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199325870.

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Detailed information about this course:

Description

Faculty: Linda Valeri, PhD

The course will cover some of the recent developments in causal mediation analysis and provide practical tools to implement these techniques. Mediation analysis concerns assessing the mechanisms and pathways by which causal effects operate. The course will cover the relationship between traditional methods for mediation in epidemiology and the social sciences and new methods in causal inference. For dichotomous, continuous, and time-to-event outcomes, discussion will be given as to when the standard approaches to mediation analysis are valid. Using ideas from causal inference and natural direct and indirect effects, alternative mediation analysis techniques will be described when the standard approaches will not work. The no-confounding assumptions needed for these techniques will be described.

SAS, SPSS and Stata macros to implement these techniques will be covered and distributed to course participants. The use and implementation of sensitivity analysis techniques to assess the how sensitive conclusions are to violations of assumptions will be covered. Discussion will be given to how such mediation analysis approaches can be extended to settings in which data come from a case-control study design. The methods will be illustrated by various applications.

The course will employ a combination of lecture, discussion, and software demonstration. Powerpoint slides will be used to present material in lecture form. Extensive printed notes will be available for students. A wide variety of examples from epidemiology and the social sciences will be used to illustrate the techniques and approaches. Ample time will be given for discussion and questions. A variety of software packages will be discussed. Students will have worked exercises that they can complete on their own.

Objectives

- Understand when traditional methods for mediation fail
- Learn the concepts about mediation from causal inference
- Learn methods and sensitivity analysis techniques for mediation
- Develop facility with use of software for mediation

Participant profile

Anyone who wants to learn about mediation analysis and is familiar with linear and logistic regression.

Assessment

Attendance