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Confidence limits for the averted infections ratio estimated via the counterfactual placebo incidence rate

Dunn, DT; Stirrup, OT; Glidden, DV; (2021) Confidence limits for the averted infections ratio estimated via the counterfactual placebo incidence rate. Statistical Communications in Infectious Diseases , 13 (1) , Article 20210002. 10.1515/scid-2021-0002. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives The averted infections ratio (AIR) is a novel measure for quantifying the preservation-of-effect in active-control non-inferiority clinical trials with a time-to-event outcome. In the main formulation, the AIR requires an estimate of the counterfactual placebo incidence rate. We describe two approaches for calculating confidence limits for the AIR given a point estimate of this parameter, a closed-form solution based on a Taylor series expansion (delta method) and an iterative method based on the profile-likelihood. Methods For each approach, exact coverage probabilities for the lower and upper confidence limits were computed over a grid of values of (1) the true value of the AIR (2) the expected number of counterfactual events (3) the effectiveness of the active-control treatment. Results Focussing on the lower confidence limit, which determines whether non-inferiority can be declared, the coverage achieved by the delta method is either less than or greater than the nominal coverage, depending on the true value of the AIR. In contrast, the coverage achieved by the profile-likelihood method is consistently accurate. Conclusions The profile-likelihood method is preferred because of better coverage properties, but the simpler delta method is valid when the experimental treatment is no less effective than the control treatment. A complementary Bayesian approach, which can be applied when the counterfactual incidence rate can be represented as a prior distribution, is also outlined.

Type: Article
Title: Confidence limits for the averted infections ratio estimated via the counterfactual placebo incidence rate
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1515/scid-2021-0002
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1515/scid-2021-0002
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Active-control trial; averted infections; confidence limits; non-inferiority
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10139282
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