Introduction to Instrumental Variables Based Methods for Causal Inference in Health Research

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Date Developed: 03/14/2016. Source: U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Office of Epidemiology and Research. Presenter(s): Maria Glymour, PhD. Type: Webinar Archive. Level: Intermediate Advanced. Length: 90 minutes.


This webinar presents an in-depth analysis of instrumental variables (IV) based methods for inference in public health research. Topics such as the motivation and intuition of instrumental variables analysis, how to define IV, IV assumptions, interpretation of the IV effect estimate and IV assumption violations are addressed.

Learning Objectives

• Understand the situations in which instrumental variables can be useful in health research

• Describe the assumptions and interpretations for instrumental variables based effect estimates

• Learn examples of instrumental variables used in health research, including policy differences, genetic variants, and other examples

• Learn basic concepts for implementing instrumental variables analyses and understand whether the methods are feasible in your research setting

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $180,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.