Confidence Intervals for the Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve in the Presence of Ignorable Missing Data

Int Stat Rev. 2019 Apr;87(1):152-177. doi: 10.1111/insr.12277. Epub 2018 Aug 9.


Receiver operating characteristic curves are widely used as a measure of accuracy of diagnostic tests and can be summarised using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Often, it is useful to construct a confidence interval for the AUC; however, because there are a number of different proposed methods to measure variance of the AUC, there are thus many different resulting methods for constructing these intervals. In this article, we compare different methods of constructing Wald-type confidence interval in the presence of missing data where the missingness mechanism is ignorable. We find that constructing confidence intervals using multiple imputation based on logistic regression gives the most robust coverage probability and the choice of confidence interval method is less important. However, when missingness rate is less severe (e.g. less than 70%), we recommend using Newcombe's Wald method for constructing confidence intervals along with multiple imputation using predictive mean matching.

Keywords: AUC; Mann–Whitney statistic; ROC curve; confidence interval; logistic regression; missing data; multiple imputation; predictive mean matching.