Multiple imputation with missing data indicators. Statistical methods in medical research Beesley, L. J., Bondarenko, I., Elliot, M. R., Kurian, A. W., Katz, S. J., Taylor, J. M. 2021: 9622802211047346


Multiple imputation is a well-established general technique for analyzing data with missing values. A convenient way to implement multiple imputation is sequential regression multiple imputation, also called chained equations multiple imputation. In this approach, we impute missing values using regression models for each variable, conditional on the other variables in the data. This approach, however, assumes that the missingness mechanism is missing at random, and it is not well-justified under not-at-random missingness without additional modification. In this paper, we describe how we can generalize the sequential regression multiple imputation imputation procedure to handle missingness not at random in the setting where missingness may depend on other variables that are also missing but not on the missing variable itself, conditioning on fully observed variables. We provide algebraic justification for several generalizations of standard sequential regression multiple imputation using Taylor series and other approximations of the target imputation distribution under missingness not at random. Resulting regression model approximations include indicators for missingness, interactions, or other functions of the missingness not at random missingness model and observed data. In a simulation study, we demonstrate that the proposed sequential regression multiple imputation modifications result in reduced bias in the final analysis compared to standard sequential regression multiple imputation, with an approximation strategy involving inclusion of an offset in the imputation model performing the best overall. The method is illustrated in a breast cancer study, where the goal is to estimate the prevalence of a specific genetic pathogenic variant.

View details for DOI 10.1177/09622802211047346

View details for PubMedID 34643465