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Preventing and Treating Missing Data in Longitudinal Clinical Trials by Craig Mallinckrodt

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6 Methods of Estimation

6.1 Introduction

This chapter describes three common methods of statistical estimation: least squares (LS), maximum likelihood (ML), and generalized estimating equations (GEE). In-depth understanding of these methods inherently requires detailed statistical knowledge. However, key concepts can be illustrated using a less technical approach.

The intent is to focus on those key concepts in a nonmathematical manner. Least squares is explained first because it is perhaps the most intuitive method, and then the other methods are explained in relation to least squares. However, prior to discussing these methods, it is useful to consider the frameworks used to draw inference from results.

The three general frameworks for inference ...

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