Low participation is a potential source of bias in population-based studies. This article presents use of inverse probability weighting (IPW) in adjusting for non-participation in estimation of brain volumes among subjects with schizophrenia. Altogether 101 schizophrenia subjects and 187 non-psychotic comparison subjects belonging to the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort were invited to participate in a field study during 1999-2001. Volumes of grey matter (GM), white matter (WM) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were compared between the 54 participating schizophrenia subjects and 100 comparison subjects. IPW by illness-related auxiliary variables did not affect the estimated GM and WM mean volumes, but increased the estimated CSF mean volume in schizophrenia subjects. When adjusted for intracranial volume and family history of psychosis, IPW led to smaller estimated GM and WM mean volumes. Especially IPW by a disability pension and a higher amount of hospitalisation due to psychosis had effect on estimated mean brain volumes. The IPW method can be used to improve estimates affected by non-participation by reflecting the true differences in the target population.
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