The differential attrition of persons from comparison groups severely restricts the inferences that can be made from results of evaluative research. This problem is particularly troublesome in the evaluation of medical technologies, such as coronary artery bypass graft surgery, since a substantial percentage of medical or control patients cross over to the surgical group. A procedure using worst case assumptions is developed that allows researchers to estimate the maximum effect of differential attrition, and therefore enhance the quality of their inferences. The article first illustrates theprocedure, then concludes with a discussion of the generality of the estimation procedure to other instances in which differential attrition is a problem, and points out the limitations of the approach.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (all)