Validation data-based adjustments for outcome misclassification in logistic regression: An illustration

Robert H. Lyles, Li Tang, Hillary M. Superak, Caroline C. King, David D. Celentano, Yungtai Lo, Jack D. Sobel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Misclassification of binary outcome variables is a known source of potentially serious bias when estimating adjusted odds ratios. Although researchers have described frequentist and Bayesian methods for dealing with the problem, these methods have seldom fully bridged the gap between statistical research and epidemiologic practice. In particular, there have been few real-world applications of readily grasped and computationally accessible methods that make direct use of internal validation data to adjust for differential outcome misclassification in logistic regression. In this paper, we illustrate likelihood-based methods for this purpose that can be implemented using standard statistical software. Using main study and internal validation data from the HIV Epidemiology Research Study, we demonstrate how misclassification rates can depend on the values of subject-specific covariates, and we illustrate the importance of accounting for this dependence. Simulation studies confirm the effectiveness of the maximum likelihood approach. We emphasize clear exposition of the likelihood function itself, to permit the reader to easily assimilate appended computer code that facilitates sensitivity analyses as well as the efficient handling of main/external and main/internal validationstudy data. These methods are readily applicable under random crosssectional sampling, and we discuss the extent to which the main/internal analysis remains appropriate under outcome-dependent (case-control) sampling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-598
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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