Last observation carried forward, Advanced Statistics

Last observation carried forward is a technique for replacing the observations of the patients who drop out of the clinical trial carried out over a time period. It consists of substituting for each missing value the subject's last available assessment of same type. Though widely applied, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, its use is very limited since it makes very improbable assumptions about the data, for instance, that the (unobserved) post drop-out response are frozen at the last observed value.

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