Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 348–350 | Cite as

Multiple imputation: a mature approach to dealing with missing data

  • S. ChevretEmail author
  • S. Seaman
  • M. Resche-Rigon
Statistical Editorial

Missing values in clinical studies are almost unavoidable. When analyzing such data, the standard response is to exclude the patients with missing data. This is known as ‘complete case analysis’ (CCA) and has been shown to be the leading strategy in the epidemiology [1] and intensive care unit (ICU) literature [2]. However, if the excluded patients are not a representative subsample from the whole sample, their exclusion can lead to bias and loss of precision in estimation, both of which can, for example, adversely affect the performance of predictive risk models in the ICU (Supplementary 1). To deal with this issue, numerous imputation methods have been developed. The simplest method is “simple imputation.” This involves replacing each missing value with a single value, such as the mean of the observed data [3]. Thereafter, all patients present in the sample can be included in the analysis. The simplicity and ease of implementation of this method make it attractive. However, it tends...


Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material

134_2014_3624_MOESM1_ESM.docx (542 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 541 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Service de Biostatistique et Information MédicaleHôpital Saint-Louis, AP-HP, ECSTRA Team, Inserm UMR-1153, Université Paris DiderotParisFrance
  2. 2.MRC Biostatistics UnitInstitute of Public Health, Robinson WayCambridgeUK

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