Flexible regression models with cubic splines

Stat Med. 1989 May;8(5):551-61. doi: 10.1002/sim.4780080504.


We describe the use of cubic splines in regression models to represent the relationship between the response variable and a vector of covariates. This simple method can help prevent the problems that result from inappropriate linearity assumptions. We compare restricted cubic spline regression to non-parametric procedures for characterizing the relationship between age and survival in the Stanford Heart Transplant data. We also provide an illustrative example in cancer therapeutics.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Heart Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Prognosis*
  • Regression Analysis*
  • Sex Factors