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Emulating the target trial

8th of February 2024 @ 15.00 – 17.00h

By Thomas Klausch

Veerle Coupe and Judith Bosmans are organizing a series on Medical Decision Making.
This is the second tutorial in a series of four tutorials.

This tutorial Thomas Klausch will focus on emulating the target trial: an essential step for estimating causal effects based on observational data.

While the design standards for randomized trials are well-established and widely understood within the fields of epidemiology and medicine, the rigorous design of studies utilizing non-randomized (observational) data is not as common. In this talk, we will introduce the target trial framework (Hernan and Robins, 2016), which encourages researchers to first conceptualize an ideal randomized trial design for collecting data to estimate a causal effect of interest. Following this, the observational data are scrutinized and prepared for analysis with the aim of approximating the target trial as closely as possible. Understanding the value of the target trial framework hinges on recognizing that the causal effect estimated using a randomized design is equivalent to that estimated by a well-designed observational study. However, it’s important to note that the assumptions enabling causal estimation in observational studies are distinct from those in experimental designs. This presentation will review these assumptions and demonstrate how researchers can design observational studies to enhance the credibility of their causal inferences.

When: Thursday 8th of February 2024
Time: 15:00-17:00h
Location: VU Campus

Registration for this tutorial is no longer possible.

In this series we will go in depth on how to improve health care and health policy decisions. How to determine the best decision when randomized trial data is absent? How to take patient preferences into account in decision making? And how to measure these preferences? In this tutorial series, these different aspects of medical decision making will be discussed. The series consist of four tutorials.

Save the date for the subsequent tutorials!

  • 12-03-2024: How to elicit informal caregiver and older adult care preferences? By Joost Wammes and Janet MacNeil Vroomen.
  • 09-04-2024: Risk communication and value clarification in Shared Decision Making. By Olga Damman.

(The tutorials can be followed separately, it is not obligatory to attend all 4 tutorials).

We hope to see you there!