Resources for Causal Reasoning in Health Services Research

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Glossary of Terms

Marginal structural models
Definition
Marginal structural models

link the expected value of a counterfactual outcome to covariates; unlike in regression models, the expected value is not conditional on the covariates

Excess proportion
Definition
Excess proportion

a proportion of cases that would not have occurred had the population not been exposed, relative to cases when the entire population was exposed (i.e. counterfactual risk when exposed is compared with counterfactual risk when unexposed)

Markov assumption
Definition
Markov assumption

conditional on its parents, a variable is independent of any other variable in the directed acyclic graph

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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