Resources for Causal Reasoning in Health Services Research

Causal graphs in CER

AHRQ made available for comments a new publication entitled, Developing a Protocol for Observational Comparative Effectiveness Research: A User’s Guide. This 11-chapter guide is a resource for investigators and stakeholders for developing observational comparative effectiveness research studies.

The User’s Guide identifies key considerations and best practices for designing observational studies and standardizes the review of study protocols with checklists that are provided in each chapter. Topics in this new User’s Guide include developing study objectives and questions, study design, data sources, and analysis. The User’s Guide has been drafted with a goal of strengthening the overall quality of observational CER research for informing important health care decisions by patients and other stakeholders.

One of the chapters gives a nice intro and overview of causal diagrams, as well as some aspects of the counterfactual theory of causal effects.

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