SAS code to compare embedded adaptive interventions.

What does this software do?

This software identifies the sequence of intervention options in a SMART that produces the best outcome on average.

Which SMART experimental designs can this software analyze?

This software is designed to analyze data from SMARTs with a continuous outcome, two decision stages, up to two treatment options at each decision stage.

How does this software work?

This software applies Q-learning, an extension of the standard regression method designed for use with longitudinal data, to multiple stages of decision making. Q-learning implements two regressions. The first selects the best second-stage treatment. The second selects the best first-stage treatment given the best second-stage treatment. The backward ordering of regressions avoids selecting treatment options that appear optimal in the short term but may lead to a less desirable outcome in the long run.

Software Versions

qlaci for R

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Documentation

PROC QLEARN for SAS

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Documentation

Key Terms

Q-Learning
Q-learning, a method developed in computer science, is an extension of the standard regression method that can be used with longitudinal data in which treatments and covariates vary over time.

SMART
A sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trial (SMART) is an experimental design that enables scientists to build better adaptive interventions.

Adaptive Intervention
An adaptive intervention is a course of time-varying treatment designed to adapt to an individual’s changing life circumstances, response to treatment, or other designated indicator.

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