Generalized fiducial inference for the restricted mean survival time

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Statistical methods in medical research




RCT; Restricted mean survival time; censored data; diabetic retinopathy; fiducial inference


The standard modeling approach for time-to-event outcomes subject to censoring is based on the hazard function, with hazard ratios capturing the effect of exposures on the risk of outcome. The restricted mean survival time, defined as the expected time to event up to a pre-specified time horizon, provides an alternative useful summary of time-to-event outcomes. Restricted mean survival time can be estimated nonparametrically and can be used to compare groups or interventions when the proportional hazards (PHs) assumption does not hold. Moreover, even when the proportional hazards assumption holds, the restricted mean survival time, an additive measure of risk, provides additional information to the hazard ratio, which is a measure of relative risk that can be difficult to interpret in absence of an estimate of the reference risk. Herein, a generalized fiducial approach is proposed for restricted mean survival time, and its asymptotic properties are investigated. Numerical simulations show the proposed approach provides one- and two-sided confidence intervals with coverage probabilities close to nominal values and controls the type-I error for two-group comparisons even for small sample sizes with a low number of events. Data from a type 1 diabetes study is used for illustration.


Biostatistics and Bioinformatics