Assistant Professor

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SUBJECT REVIEW

Regression Methods in the Empiric Analysis of Health Care Data
GRANT H. SKREPNEK, PhD

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to provide health care decision makers with a conceptual foundation for regression analysis by describing the principles of correlation, regression, and residual assessment. SUMMARY: Researchers are often faced with the need to describe quantitatively the relationships between outcomes andpre d i c t o r s , with the objective of ex p l a i n i n g trends, testing hypotheses, or developing models for forecasting. Regression models are able to incorporate complex mathematical functions and operands (the variables that are manipulated) to best describe the associations between sets of variables. Unlike many other statistical techniques, regression allows for the inclusion of variables that may control for confounding phenomena or risk factors. For robust analyses to be conducted, however, the assumptions of regression must be understood and researchers must be aware of diagnostic tests and the appropriate procedures that may be used to correct for violations in model assumptions. CONCLUSION: Despite the complexities and intricacies that can exist in re gre s s i o n , this statistical technique may be applied to a wide range of studies in managed care settings. Given the increased availability of data in administrative databases, the application of these procedures to pharmacoeconomics and outc o m e s assessments may result in more varied and useful scientific investigationsand provide a more solid foundation for health care decision making. KEYWORDS: Claims database analysis, Pharmacoeconomics, Outcomes assessment, Regression analysis J Manag Care Pharm. 2005;11(3):240-51

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esearchers from a wide range of disciplines routinely use regression analyses to understand the mathematical relationships between…...

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