On 24th July 2019 The South Australian branch was pleased to have Dr Murthy Mittinty present at the monthly branch meeting. Dr Mittinty is a senior lecturer in the School of Public Health at The University of Adelaide and interested in both methodological development and applications of statistical methods. He gave a talk on Quantitative Bias Analysis.
Dr. Mittinty talked about systematic and random errors in both observational or experimental data and how to handle them in observational studies. The systematic error includes aspects such as selection bias, measurement error, confounding bias and unmeasured confounding. In a perfect randomized control trial, one can attempt to remove the biases such as measured and unmeasured confounding. Unfortunately, this is not the case with observational data , hence it is important to describe how these errors are handled. He talked about how these errors should be handled so one can predict better estimates or place more confidence in estimates. He further included three important question to answer before conducting a quantitative bias analysis: (1) when we should conduct one; (2) how we select which bias to address; and (3) how we select a method to model bias. Another question is how we interpret and present these results. He aimed to answer these questions with examples in his presentation. He talked about how to select a method to model biases and how to assign values to parameters of the bias model as well as software that can be used for conducting quantitative bias analysis. There were quite few discussions after the talk.
A dinner was held after the meeting at Jasmine Restaurant, 31 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide.
Aarti Gulyani, SA Branch
University of South Australia