Bootstrap confidence intervals: when, which, what? A practical guide for medical statisticians

Stat Med. 2000 May 15;19(9):1141-64. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0258(20000515)19:9<1141::aid-sim479>;2-f.


Since the early 1980s, a bewildering array of methods for constructing bootstrap confidence intervals have been proposed. In this article, we address the following questions. First, when should bootstrap confidence intervals be used. Secondly, which method should be chosen, and thirdly, how should it be implemented. In order to do this, we review the common algorithms for resampling and methods for constructing bootstrap confidence intervals, together with some less well known ones, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. We then present a simulation study, a flow chart for choosing an appropriate method and a survival analysis example.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Birth Weight
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Confidence Intervals*
  • Drug Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn / growth & development
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / drug therapy
  • Models, Biological*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Remission Induction
  • Secondary Prevention