Non-ignorable missingness in logistic regression

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Journal Article
Statistics in Medicine, 2017, 36 (19), pp. 3005 - 3021
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Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Nonresponses and missing data are common in observational studies. Ignoring or inadequately handling missing data may lead to biased parameter estimation, incorrect standard errors and, as a consequence, incorrect statistical inference and conclusions. We present a strategy for modelling non-ignorable missingness where the probability of nonresponse depends on the outcome. Using a simple case of logistic regression, we quantify the bias in regression estimates and show the observed likelihood is non-identifiable under non-ignorable missing data mechanism. We then adopt a selection model factorisation of the joint distribution as the basis for a sensitivity analysis to study changes in estimated parameters and the robustness of study conclusions against different assumptions. A Bayesian framework for model estimation is used as it provides a flexible approach for incorporating different missing data assumptions and conducting sensitivity analysis. Using simulated data, we explore the performance of the Bayesian selection model in correcting for bias in a logistic regression. We then implement our strategy using survey data from the 45 and Up Study to investigate factors associated with worsening health from the baseline to follow-up survey. Our findings have practical implications for the use of the 45 and Up Study data to answer important research questions relating to health and quality-of-life. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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