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Shall we count the living or the dead?

Causal inference for survival outcomes webinar series 

A series of four sessions on modern concepts and methods relating to estimation of effects of treatments or exposures on survival and other time-to-event outcomes. This is the final session of the series.  

In the 1958 paper "Shall we count the living or the dead'', Mindel C. Sheps proposed a principled solution to the familiar problem of asymmetry of the relative risk. We provide causal models to clarify the scope and limitations of Sheps' line of reasoning and show that her preferred variant of the relative risk will be stable between patient groups under certain biologically interpretable conditions. Such stability is useful when findings from an intervention study must be generalised to support clinical decisions in patients whose risk profile differs from the participants in the study. We show that Sheps’ approach is consistent with a substantial body of psychological and philosophical research on how human reasoners carry causal information from one context to another. 


Dr Anders Huitfeldt, Associate Professor in Evidence-Based Medicine, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Odense, University of Southern Denmark  

Please note that the recording link will be listed on this page when available


Follow webinar link. Free and open to all. No registration required.


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