Max Rady College of Medicine

Term: Propensity Scores

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Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2008-09-09


Propensity scores are used to estimate the effect of receiving treatment when random assignment of treatments to subjects is not feasible. The estimated propensity score for a subject is the conditional probability of being assigned to a particular treatment given a vector of observed covariates (Newgard CD et al., 2004; Rosenbaum P and Rubin D, 1983).

For more detailed information on propensity score matching, see the Propensity Score Matching in Observational Studies pdf document on the MCHP website.

Related terms 



  • Newgard CD, Hedges JR, Arthur M, Mullins RJ. Advanced statistics: the propensity score--a method for estimating treatment effect in observational research. Academic Emergency Medicine 2004;11(9):953-961. [Abstract] (View)
  • Rosenbaum P, Rubin D. The central role of the propensity score in observational studies for casual effects. Biometrika 1983;70(1):41-55.(View)

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Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine,
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences,
Room 408-727 McDermot Ave.
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5 Canada