1.10. Quasi-experimental Studies – A Love Story: With Tarik Benmarhnia

What puts the quasi in quasi-experimental designs? What makes a quasi-experimental study different than a “real” experiment? Ever wondered about the difference between regression discontinuity, difference-in-differences, and synthetic control methods? Dr. Tarik Benmarnhia joins us on this episode of SERious Epidemiology to talk us through a range of quasi-experimental designs. He makes a strong case for why we should integrate these designs in a variety of settings in epidemiology ranging from public health policy to clinical epidemiology

After listening to this podcast, if you are interested in learning more about quasi-experimental designs, you can check out some of the resources below:

Abadie A, Diamond A, Hainmueller J. (2010) Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program, Journal of the American Statistical Association, 105:490, 493-505, DOI: 10.1198/jasa.2009.ap08746

Chen H, Li Q, Kaufman JS, Wang J, Copes R, Su Y, Benmarhnia T. Effect of air quality alerts on human health: a regression discontinuity analysis in Toronto, Canada. Lancet Planet Health. 2018 Jan;2(1):e19-e26. doi: 10.1016/S2542-5196(17)30185-7. Epub 2018 Jan 9. PMID: 29615204.

Auger N, Kuehne E, Goneau M, Daniel M. Preterm birth during an extreme weather event in Québec, Canada: a “natural experiment”. Matern Child Health J. 2011 Oct;15(7):1088-96. doi: 10.1007/s10995-010-0645-0. PMID: 20640493.

Hernán MA, Robins JM. Instruments for causal inference: an epidemiologist’s dream? Epidemiology. 2006 Jul;17(4):360-72. doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000222409.00878.37. Erratum in: Epidemiology. 2014 Jan;25(1):164. PMID: 16755261.

Courtemanche, C., Marton, J., Ukert, B., Yelowitz, A. and Zapata, D. (2017), Early Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage in Medicaid Expansion and Non‐Expansion States. J. Pol. Anal. Manage., 36: 178-210. https://doi.org/10.1002/pam.21961

Bor J, Fox MP, Rosen S, Venkataramani A, Tanser F, Pillay D, Bärnighausen T. Treatment eligibility and retention in clinical HIV care: A regression discontinuity study in South Africa. PLoS Med. 2017 Nov 28;14(11):e1002463. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002463. PMID: 29182641; PMCID: PMC5705070.

Bor J, Moscoe E, Mutevedzi P, Newell ML, Bärnighausen T. Regression discontinuity designs in epidemiology: causal inference without randomized trials. Epidemiology. 2014 Sep;25(5):729-37. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000138. PMID: 25061922; PMCID: PMC4162343.

Elder TE. The importance of relative standards in ADHD diagnoses: evidence based on exact birth dates. J Health Econ. 2010;29(5):641-656. doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2010.06.003

Smith LM, Kaufman JS, Strumpf EC, Lévesque LE. Effect of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination on clinical indicators of sexual behaviour among adolescent girls: the Ontario Grade 8 HPV Vaccine Cohort Study. CMAJ. 2015;187(2):E74-E81. doi:10.1503/cmaj.140900