Identification of subpopulations with distinct treatment benefit rate using the Bayesian tree

Changyu Shen, Yang Hu, Xiaochun Li, Yadong Wang, Peng Sheng Chen, Alfred E. Buxton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Characterization of a subpopulation by the difference in marginal means of the outcome under the intervention and control may not be sufficient to provide informative guidance for individual decision and public policy making. Specifically, often we are interested in the treatment benefit rate (TBR), that is, the probability of benefitting an intervention in a meaningful way. For binary outcomes, TBR is the proportion that has "unfavorable" outcome under the control and "favorable" outcome under the intervention. Identification of subpopulations with distinct TBR by baseline characteristics will have significant implications in clinical setting where a medical intervention with potential negative health impact is under consideration for a given patient. In addition, these subpopulations with unique TBR set the basis for guidance in implementing the intervention toward a more personalized scheme of treatment. In this article, we propose a Bayesian tree based latent variable model to seek subpopulations with distinct TBR. Our method offers a nonparametric Bayesian framework that accounts for the uncertainty in estimating potential outcomes and allows more exhaustive search of the partitions of the baseline covariates space. The method is evaluated through a simulation study and applied to a randomized clinical trial of implantable cardioverter defibrillators to reduce mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBiometrical Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2016


  • Bayesian analysis
  • Causal inference
  • Heterogeneity of treatment effect
  • Matching
  • Subgroup analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Medicine(all)
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty

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