DOI: 10.1177/09622802231225527 ISSN: 0962-2802

Accounting for informative observation process in transition models of binary longitudinal outcome: Application to medical record data

Joe Bible, Madeleine St. Ville, Paul S Albert, Danping Liu
  • Health Information Management
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Epidemiology

When extracting medical record data to form a retrospective cohort, investigators typically focus on a pre-specified study window, and select subjects who had hospital visits during that study window. However, such data extraction may suffer from an informative observation process, since sicker patients may have hospital visits more frequently. For example, Consecutive Pregnancy Study is a retrospective cohort study of women with multiple pregnancies in 23 Utah hospitals from 2003 to 2010, where the interest is to understand the risk factors of recurrent pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth. The observation process is informative in the sense that, women with adverse pregnancy outcomes may be less likely/willing/able to endure subsequent pregnancies. We proposed a three-part joint model with shared random effects structure to address this analytic complication. Particularly, a first-order transition model is used to model the longitudinal binary outcome; a gamma regression model is assumed for the inter-pregnancy intervals; a continuation ratio model specifies the probability of continuing with more births in the future. We note that the latter two parts give rise to a parametric cure-rate survival model. The performance of the proposed method was examined in extensive simulation studies, with both correctly and mis-specified models. The analyses of Consecutive Pregnancy Study data further demonstrate the inadequacies of fitting the transition model alone ignoring the informative observation process.

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