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Point estimation for adaptive trial designs II: practical considerations and guidance

Robertson, David S, Choodari-Oskooei, Babak, Dimairo, Munya, Flight, Laura, Pallmann, Philip ORCID: and Jaki, Thomas 2023. Point estimation for adaptive trial designs II: practical considerations and guidance. Statistics in Medicine 42 (14) , pp. 2496-2520. 10.1002/sim.9734

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In adaptive clinical trials, the conventional end-of-trial point estimate of a treatment effect is prone to bias, that is, a systematic tendency to deviate from its true value. As stated in recent FDA guidance on adaptive designs, it is desirable to report estimates of treatment effects that reduce or remove this bias. However, it may be unclear which of the available estimators are preferable, and their use remains rare in practice. This article is the second in a two-part series that studies the issue of bias in point estimation for adaptive trials. Part I provided a methodological review of approaches to remove or reduce the potential bias in point estimation for adaptive designs. In part II, we discuss how bias can affect standard estimators and assess the negative impact this can have. We review current practice for reporting point estimates and illustrate the computation of different estimators using a real adaptive trial example (including code), which we use as a basis for a simulation study. We show that while on average the values of these estimators can be similar, for a particular trial realization they can give noticeably different values for the estimated treatment effect. Finally, we propose guidelines for researchers around the choice of estimators and the reporting of estimates following an adaptive design. The issue of bias should be considered throughout the whole lifecycle of an adaptive design, with the estimation strategy prespecified in the statistical analysis plan. When available, unbiased or bias-reduced estimates are to be preferred.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1097-0258
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 April 2023
Date of Acceptance: 18 March 2023
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2023 10:24

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