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Missing data: the importance and impact of missing data from clinical research


Padgett, C and Skilbeck, CE and Summers, MJ, Missing data: the importance and impact of missing data from clinical research, Brain Impairment, 15, (1) pp. 1-9. ISSN 1839-5252 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment

DOI: doi:10.1017/BrImp.2014.2


There is compelling evidence that traditional methods used to address the detrimental impacts of missing data are inadequate. Despite this, researchers have been slow to utilise newer statistical approaches known to be more effective. The aim of the current article is to offer a conceptual explanation of the rationale for using newer missing data techniques, with a focus on multiple imputation (MI). To illustrate the relative efficacy of deletion, single imputation and multiple imputation techniques in the clinical setting, 20 cases were selected randomly from a population study investigating the cognitive sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and 8 out of 20 cases had scores on one variable deleted to simulate a missing data set. Comparing the parameter estimates obtained by each technique to the known parameters of the complete data set revealed that MI outperformed deletion and single imputation approaches. It is therefore recommended that more sophisticated techniques such as MI should be considered in clinical research.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:missing data, multiple imputation, traumatic brain injury
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Padgett, C (Dr Christine Padgett)
UTAS Author:Skilbeck, CE (Associate Professor Clive Skilbeck)
UTAS Author:Summers, MJ (Dr Mathew Summers)
ID Code:94618
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2014-09-13
Last Modified:2017-11-05

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