Two-part hidden Markov models for semicontinuous longitudinal data with nonignorable missing covariates

Statistics in Medicine
Xiaoxiao ZhouXinyuan Song

Abstract

This study develops a two-part hidden Markov model (HMM) for analyzing semicontinuous longitudinal data in the presence of missing covariates. The proposed model manages a semicontinuous variable by splitting it into two random variables: a binary indicator for determining the occurrence of excess zeros at all occasions and a continuous random variable for examining its actual level. For the continuous longitudinal response, an HMM is proposed to describe the relationship between the observation and unobservable finite-state transition processes. The HMM consists of two major components. The first component is a transition model for investigating how potential covariates influence the probabilities of transitioning from one hidden state to another. The second component is a conditional regression model for examining the state-specific effects of covariates on the response. A shared random effect is introduced to each part of the model to accommodate possible unobservable heterogeneity among observation processes and the nonignorability of missing covariates. A Bayesian adaptive least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (lasso) procedure is developed to conduct simultaneous variable selection and estimation. The proposed m...Continue Reading

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