Resources for Causal Reasoning in Health Services Research

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Glossary of Terms

Causal inference
Definition
Causal inference

the thought process to conclude whether a relation of cause to effect exists.

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

Positivity
Definition
Positivity

definition

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

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