Much of clinical medicine involves choosing a future treatment plan that is expected to optimize a patient's long-term outcome, and modifying this treatment plan over time in response to changes in patient characteristics. However, dynamic treatment regimens, or decision rules for altering treatment in response to time-varying covariates, are rarely estimated based on observational data. In a companion paper, we introduced a generalization of Marginal Structural Models, named History-Adjusted Marginal Structural Models, that estimate modification of causal effects by time-varying covariates. Here, we illustrate how History-Adjusted Marginal Structural Models can be used to identify a specific type of optimal dynamic treatment regimen. Estimation and interpretation of this dynamic treatment regimen are illustrated using an example drawn from the treatment of HIV infection using antiretroviral drugs.
Petersen, Maya L. and van der Laan, Mark J., "History-Adjusted Marginal Structural Models: Optimal Treatment Strategies" (April 2005). U.C. Berkeley Division of Biostatistics Working Paper Series. Working Paper 175.