Analysing Interrupted Time Series with a Control
Bottomley C., Scott JAG., Isham V.
© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Interrupted time series are increasingly being used to evaluate the population-wide implementation of public health interventions. However, the resulting estimates of intervention impact can be severely biased if underlying disease trends are not adequately accounted for. Control series offer a potential solution to this problem, but there is little guidance on how to use them to produce trend-adjusted estimates. To address this lack of guidance, we show how interrupted time series can be analysed when the control and intervention series share confounders, i. e. when they share a common trend. We show that the intervention effect can be estimated by subtracting the control series from the intervention series and analysing the difference using linear regression or, if a log-linear model is assumed, by including the control series as an offset in a Poisson regression with robust standard errors. The methods are illustrated with two examples.