Bayesian Methods in Clinical Trials

SPH BS 854

Bayesian statistical methods use prior information or beliefs, along with the current data, to guide the search for parameter estimates. In the Bayesian paradigm probabilities are subjective beliefs. Prior information/ beliefs are input as a distribution, and the data then helps refine that distribution. The choice of prior distributions, posterior updating, as well as dedicated computing techniques are introduced through simple examples. Bayesian methods for design, monitoring analysis for randomized clinical trials are taught in this class. These methods are contrasted with traditional (frequentist) methods. The emphasis will be on concepts. Examples are case studies from the instructors' work and from medical literature. R will be the main computing tool used.

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