Natural Experiments: An Overview of Methods, Approaches, and Contributions to Public Health Intervention Research
Citation: Peter Craig, Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi, Alastair Leyland, Frank Popham Natural Experiments: An Overview of Methods, Approaches, and Contributions to Public Health Intervention Research.
Defines natural experiments broadly to include any event not under the control of a researcher that divides a population into exposed and unexposed groups. Distinguishes between experiments (eg randomized controlled trials) and observational studies (which include natural experiments). Describe several methods of evaluating natural experiments:
- Regression Adjustment
- Propensity Score–Based Methods
- Interrupted Time Series
- Synthetic Controls
- Instrumental Variables
- Regression Discontinuity
Causal inference from natural experiments can be strengthened, eg with a clear theoretical understanding of the intervention and consideration of alternative explanations.