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Comment & Response
February 2014

Causal Diagrams to Better Understand Missingness

Author Affiliations
  • 1Nijmegen Centre for Evidence Based Practice, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(2):187. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3650

To the Editor We read the recent article by Cummings1 with great interest, because he not only discussed methods to handle missingness but also provided a clear framework for reporting missing data in research. Missing data are ubiquitous in clinical and epidemiological studies, and despite standardized guidelines, reporting and treatment of missing data remain inconsistent.13 In light of this, to truly promote change in research culture, we support that journal editorial guidelines and reviewers request data on missingness if they are not aptly discussed in an original article. Adding missing data analysis to the statistical repertoire of researchers and reporting missingness in studies should not be seen as obstacles but rather a means toward achieving greater transparency and higher-quality evidence in science.

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