The terminology describing missingness mechanisms is confusing. In particular the meaning of 'missing at random' is often misunderstood, leading researchers faced with missing data problems away from multiple imputation, a method with considerable advantages. The purpose of this article is to clarify how 'missing at random' differs from 'missing completely at random' via an imagined dialogue between a clinical researcher and statistician.
Keywords: missing at random; missing data; multiple imputation.
© The Author 2014; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.