A discrete time event-history approach to informative drop-out in mixed latent Markov models with covariates

Francesco Bartolucci, Alessio Farcomeni


Mixed latent Markov (MLM) models represent an important tool of analysis of longitudinal data when response variables are affected by time-fixed and time-varying unobserved heterogeneity, in which the latter is accounted for by a hidden Markov chain. In order to avoid bias when using a model of this type in the presence of informative drop-out, we propose an event-history (EH) extension of the latent Markov approach that may be used with multivariate longitudinal data, in which one or more outcomes of a different nature are observed at each time occasion. The EH component of the resulting model is referred to the interval-censored drop-out, and bias in MLM modeling is avoided by correlated random effects, included in the different model components, which follow common latent distributions. In order to perform maximum likelihood estimation of the proposed model by the expectation-maximization algorithm, we extend the usual forward-backward recursions of Baum and Welch. The algorithm has the same complexity as the one adopted in cases of non-informative drop-out. We illustrate the proposed approach through simulations and an application based on data coming from a medical study about primary biliary cirrhosis in which there are t...Continue Reading


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