General multistage gatekeeping procedures

Biom J. 2008 Oct;50(5):667-77. doi: 10.1002/bimj.200710464.


A general multistage (stepwise) procedure is proposed for dealing with arbitrary gatekeeping problems including parallel and serial gatekeeping. The procedure is very simple to implement since it does not require the application of the closed testing principle and the consequent need to test all nonempty intersections of hypotheses. It is based on the idea of carrying forward the Type I error rate for any rejected hypotheses to test hypotheses in the next ordered family. This requires the use of a so-called separable multiple test procedure (MTP) in the earlier family. The Bonferroni MTP is separable, but other standard MTPs such as Holm, Hochberg, Fallback and Dunnett are not. Their truncated versions are proposed which are separable and more powerful than the Bonferroni MTP. The proposed procedure is illustrated by a clinical trial example.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biometry / methods*
  • Models, Statistical