Forwards Strategy

Lead Author(s): Jeff Martin, MD

Forwards Strategy for Potential Confounders

In contrast to the backwards strategy for potential condunders this is what is known as a forward strategy.

Procedure for Forwards Strategy for Potential Confounders

Forward Strategy start with the variable that has the biggest change-in-estimate impact when evaluated individually.

This is where you start by assessing the effects of the potential confounders one variable at a time. THEN: After you find the variable that has the biggest change in the estimate compared to the crude estimate,

Advantage: Forwards Strategy

Advantage: Avoids the initial sparse cell problem of backwards approach

This procedure has some advantages like that it gets away from the problem of having many sparse cells when looking at joint confounding of many variables.

Problem: Forwards Strategy

Problem: Does not evaluate joint confounding effects of many variables

It has a big disadvantage in that it really does not fully look at the effects of joint confounding.


If possible, we always prefer backward procedures because they formally assess joint confounding.