Causality in complex interventions

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (1):77-90 (2009)
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Abstract

In this paper I look at causality in the context of intervention research, and discuss some problems faced in the evaluation of causal hypotheses via interventions. I draw attention to a simple problem for evaluations that employ randomized controlled trials. The common alternative to randomized trials, the observational study, is shown to face problems of a similar nature. I then argue that these problems become especially acute in cases where the intervention is complex (i.e. that involves intervening in a complex system). Finally, I consider and reject a possible resolution of the problem involving the simulation of complex interventions. The conclusion I draw from this is that we need to radically reframe the way we think about causal inference in complex intervention research

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Dean Rickles
University of Sydney

Citations of this work

Causal criteria and the problem of complex causation.Andrew Ward - 2009 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (3):333-343.

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References found in this work

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Philosophical papers.David Kellogg Lewis - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Nature's capacities and their measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):201-202.

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