The staggered entry design for survival analysis specifies that r left-truncated samples are to be used in estimation of a population survival function. The ith sample is taken at time Bi, from the subpopulation of individuals having survival time exceeding Bi. This paper investigates the performance of the staggered entry design relative to the usual design in which all samples have a common time origin. The staggered entry design is shown to be an attractive alternative, even when not necessitated by logistical constraints. The staggered entry design allows for increased precision in estimation of the right tail of the survival function, especially when some of the data may be censored. A trade-off between the range of values for which the increased precision occurs and the magnitude of the increased precision is demonstrated.
Additional publication details
Efficiency and optimal allocation in the staggered entry design