Regression discontinuity designs in healthcare research

Venkataramani Atheendar S, Bor Jacob, Jena Anupam B. Regression discontinuity designs in healthcare research

An interesting article form the BMJ which argues that regression discontinuity is underutilized in healthcare research despite the ubiquity of threshold based decision making as well as the design’s simplicity and transparency. Moreover, regression discontinuity provides evidence of “real world” therapeutic and policy effects, circumventing a major limitation of randomized controlled trials. The article discusses the implementation, strengths, and weaknesses of regression discontinuity and reviews several examples from clinical medicine, public health, and health policy and concludes by discussing the wide array of open research questions for which regression discontinuity stands to provide meaningful insights to clinicians and policymakers.