Causal Inference About the Effects of Interventions From Observational Studies in Medical Journals

Many medical journals, including JAMA, restrict causal language to randomized clinical trials (RCTs). However, RCTs are not always feasible due to costs, duration, or ethical concerns. Observational studies, if carefully designed, can provide valuable causal insights and guide further experimental investigations. The proposed framework outlines how to use causal language in observational studies, focusing on explicit assumptions and transparent reporting. Adoption of this framework aims to improve communication and interpretation of research findings in medical journals.

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JAMA. 2024 Jun 4;331(21):1845-1853. doi:10.1001/jama.2024.8107

Recommended on behalf of EASE by Silvia Maina, Italy

Written by: Dahabreh IJ, Bibbins-Domingo K.