Resources for Causal Reasoning in Health Services Research

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Glossary of Terms

Mediation
Definition
Mediation

production of effect through a third variable

Counterfactual reasoning
Definition
Counterfactual reasoning

comparing potential outcomes of alternative interventions with observed outcomes in a thought experiment

Conditional probability
Definition
Conditional probability

the quotient of the joint probability of two events in the same space and the marginal probability of one of the events

Instrumental variable
Definition
Instrumental variable

a variable relative to the total effect of exposure on outcome if there is a set of measurements, unaffected by the exposure, such the instrument is conditionally independent of the outcome given the set and the instrument is not independent of the exposure conditional on the set

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