Optimizing Suboptimal Classification Trees: S-PLUS® Propensity Score Model for Adjusted Comparison of Hospitalized vs. Ambulatory Patients with Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Paul R. Yarnold

Optimal Data Analysis, LLC

Pruning to maximize model accuracy (requiring simple hand computation) is applied to a classification tree model developed via S-PLUS to create propensity scores to improve causal inference in comparing hospitalized vs. ambulatory patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Research reported herein constitutes a thought-provoking example of a striking misalliance between forward analytic thinking and vestige statistical tools—a condition that dominates the empirical literature today. Modifications of ubiquitous methodological practices are suggested.

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