Combining Probability and Nonprobability Samples by Using Multivariate Mass Imputation Approaches with Application to Biomedical Research

Stats (Basel). 2023 Jun;6(2):617-625. doi: 10.3390/stats6020039. Epub 2023 May 8.


Nonprobability samples have been used frequently in practice including public health study, economics, education, and political polls. Naïve estimates based on nonprobability samples without any further adjustments may suffer from serious selection bias. Mass imputation has been shown to be effective in practice to improve the representativeness of nonprobability samples. It builds an imputation model based on nonprobability samples and generates imputed values for all units in the probability samples. In this paper, we compare two mass imputation approaches including latent joint multivariate normal model mass imputation (e.g., Generalized Efficient Regression-Based Imputation with Latent Processes (GERBIL)) and fully conditional specification (FCS) procedures for integrating multiple outcome variables simultaneously. The Monte Carlo simulation study shows the benefits of GERBIL and FCS with predictive mean matching in terms of balancing the Monte Carlo bias and variance. We further evaluate our proposed method by combining the information from Tribal Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data files.

Keywords: multivariate imputation; nonprobability sample; public health data; selection bias.