Multiple imputation by chained equations: what is it and how does it work?

Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2011 Mar;20(1):40-9. doi: 10.1002/mpr.329.


Multivariate imputation by chained equations (MICE) has emerged as a principled method of dealing with missing data. Despite properties that make MICE particularly useful for large imputation procedures and advances in software development that now make it accessible to many researchers, many psychiatric researchers have not been trained in these methods and few practical resources exist to guide researchers in the implementation of this technique. This paper provides an introduction to the MICE method with a focus on practical aspects and challenges in using this method. A brief review of software programs available to implement MICE and then analyze multiply imputed data is also provided.

Keywords: analyze; missing data; multiple imputation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Epidemiologic Methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Research Design*