Comparison of Baseline Covariate Adjustment Methods for Restricted Mean Survival Time

by   Keisuke Hanada, et al.

The restricted mean survival time is a clinically easy-to-interpret measure that does not require any assumption of proportional hazards. We focus on two ways to directly model the survival time and adjust the covariates. One is to calculate the pseudo-survival time for each subject using leave-one-out, and then perform a model analysis using all pseudo-values to adjust for covariates. The pseudo-survival time is used to reflect information of censored subjects in the model analysis. The other method adjusts for covariates using subjects for whom the time-to-event was observed while adjusting for the censored subjects using the inverse probability of censoring weighting (IPCW). This paper evaluates the performance of these two methods in terms of the power to detect group differences through a simple example dataset and computer simulations. The simple example illustrates the intuitive behavior of the two methods. With the method using pseudo-survival times, it is difficult to interpret the pseudo-values. We confirm that the pseudo-survival times are different from the actual data obtained in a primary biliary cholangitis clinical trial because of the many censored data. In the simulations, the method using IPCW is found to be more powerful. Even in the case of group differences with respect to the censor incidence rates and covariates, the method using IPCW maintains a nominal significance level for the type-1 error rate. We conclude that the IPCW method should be used to estimate the restricted mean survival time when adjusting the covariates.


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