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Is the Legend in your SAS/Graph Output Still Telling the Right Story

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In clinical studies, researchers are often interested in the effect of treatment over time for multiple treatments or dosing groups. Usually, in a graphical report, the measurement of treatment effect is on the vertical axis and a second factor, such as time or visit, on the horizontal axis. Multiple lines are displayed in the same figure; each line represents a third factor, such as treatment or dosing group. It is critical that the line appearance (color, symbol and style) are consistent throughout the entire clinical report, as well as, across clinical reports from related studies. Flavin and Carpenter (2004) showed that the GPLOT procedure, by default, did not guarantee consistency in line appearances. They provided macro and non-macro solutions to this problem. With the introduction of Statistical Graphics (SG) in SAS® v9.3, there are multiple approaches to resolve this problem. In this paper, the authors cover the following topics:

  • The Nature of the SGPLOT Procedure (How are Line Attributes Assigned?)
  • Re-visit the Line Inconsistency Problem by means of SGPLOT Procedure
  • 5 Solutions to Resolve Line Inconsistency Issues
  • Discrete Attribute Map and Range Attribute Map
  • Maintain Line Consistency in the SGPANEL Procedure

Note that this is the fourth edition of this paper; it is more comprehensive than the former editions in WUSS 2011, WUSS 2012 and PharmaSUG 2012. Detailed discussion on the new features in SAS® v9.3 are provided.

Online Materials

View the pdf for this paper.

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