Multiple imputation for missing continuous and dichotomous data: The effects of patterns of missingness and variable correlations on type I error with small samples
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of predictor variable correlations and patterns of missingness with dichotomous and/or continuous data in small samples when missing data is multiply imputed. Missing data of predictor variables is multiply imputed under three different multivariate models: the multivariate normal model for continuous data, the multinomial model for dichotomous data and the general location model for mixed dichotomous and continuous data. Subsequent to the multiple imputation process, Type I error rates of the regression coefficients obtained with logistic regression analysis are estimated under various conditions of correlation structure, sample size, type of data and patterns of missing data. The distributional properties of average mean, variance and correlations among the predictor variables are assessed after the multiple imputation process. For continuous predictor data under the multivariate normal model, Type I error rates are generally within the nominal values with samples of size n = 100. Smaller samples of size n = 50 resulted in more conservative estimates (i.e., lower than the nominal value). Correlation and variance estimates of the original data are retained after multiple imputation with less than 50% missing continuous predictor data. For dichotomous predictor data under the multinomial model, Type I error rates are generally conservative, which in part is due to the sparseness of the data. The correlation structure for the predictor variables is not well retained on multiply-imputed data from small samples with more than 50% missing data with this model. For mixed continuous and dichotomous predictor data, the results are similar to those found under the multivariate normal model for continuous data and under the multinomial model for dichotomous data. With all data types, a fully-observed variable included with variables subject to missingness in the multiple imputation process and subsequent statistical analysis provided liberal (larger than nominal values) Type I error rates under a specific pattern of missing data. It is suggested that future studies focus on the effects of multiple imputation in multivariate settings with more realistic data characteristics and a variety of multivariate analyses, assessing both Type I error and power.
Doyle, Suzanne Rose, "Multiple imputation for missing continuous and dichotomous data: The effects of patterns of missingness and variable correlations on type I error with small samples" (2001). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3027641.