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Identification of operating mediation and mechanism in the sufficient-component cause framework

Identification of operating mediation and mechanism in the sufficient-component cause framework,10.1007/s10654-011-9568-3,European Journal of Epidemio

Identification of operating mediation and mechanism in the sufficient-component cause framework   (Citations: 1)
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The assessment of mediation and mechanism is one way to more deeply explore cause-effect relationships, providing a stronger test and explanation of the observed associations. Most previous studies have described direct and indirect effects in terms of potential outcomes and response types, exploring mediation analysis in the counterfactual (= potential-outcome) framework. A recent paper by Hafeman (Eur J Epidemiol 23(11):711–721, 2008) provided a conceptual description of mediation in the sufficient-component cause framework, and VanderWeele (Eur J Epidemiol 24(5):217–224, 2009) explored the distinctions and relationships between the concepts of mediation and mechanism. This study builds on this prior work and demonstrates that further insight can be given by elucidating the concepts of mediation and mechanism in the sufficient-component cause framework, distinguishing their operation from presence. The careful consideration of the concepts of mediation and mechanism can clarify the relationship between them. Then, the present article describes how investigators can identify mediation as well as mechanism by showing their correspondence with direct and indirect effects in the counterfactual framework. This study also demonstrates how a researcher can decompose the total effect into the effect due to mediated paths and the effect due to non-mediated paths in terms of the probabilities of background factors of sufficient causes.
Journal: European Journal of Epidemiology - EUR J EPIDEMIOL , vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 347-357, 2011
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    • ...Suzuki et al. [14] have taken the discussion one level further...
    • ...However, Suzuki et al. [14] draw a further distinction between the presence of a mediating pathway and the operation of a mediating pathway that qualifies the sense in which the presence of an ‘‘indirect effect’’ constitutes mediation...
    • ...Suzuki et al. [14] note that within the sufficient cause framework this would imply that there must be a pathway from X to M to Y, namely the B3M sufficient cause must be present...
    • ...Importantly, the paper of Suzuki et al. [14] makes the monotonicity assumption of no sufficient causes involving the absence of the exposure or the absence of the mediator...

    Tyler J. VanderWeele. Subtleties of explanatory language: what is meant by “mediation”?

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