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Application of random-effects pattern-mixture models for missing data in longitudinal studies

By Donald Hedeker and Robert D. Gibbons


Random-effects regression models have become increasingly popular for analysis of longitudinal data. A key advantage of the random-effects approach is that it can be applied when subjects are not measured at the same number of timepoints. In this article we describe use of random-effects pattern-mixture models to further handle and describe the influence of missing data in longitudinal studies. For this approach, subjects are first divided into groups depending on their missing-data pattern and then variables based on these groups are used as model covariates. In this way, researchers are able to examine the effect of missing-data patterns on the outcome (or outcomes) of interest. Furthermore, overall estimates can be obtained by averaging over the missing-data patterns. A psychiatric clinical trials data set is used to illustrate the random-effects pattern-mixture approach to longitudinal data analysis with missing data. Longitudinal studies occupy an important role in psychological and psychiatric research. In these studies the same individuals are repeatedly measured on a number of important variables over a series of timepoints. As an example, a longitudinal design is often used to determine whether a particular therapeutic agent can produce changes in clinical status over the course of an illness. Another application for the longitudinal study is to assess potential indicators of a change, in the subject's clinical status; for example, the assessment of whether drug plasma level measurements indicate clinical outcome. Even in well-controlled situations, missing data invariably occur in longitudinal studies. Subjects can b

Year: 1997
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