Statistics in medicine

A Bayesian mixture of semiparametric mixed-effects joint models for skewed-longitudinal and time-to-event data.

PMID 25924891


In longitudinal studies, it is of interest to investigate how repeatedly measured markers in time are associated with a time to an event of interest, and in the mean time, the repeated measurements are often observed with the features of a heterogeneous population, non-normality, and covariate measured with error because of longitudinal nature. Statistical analysis may complicate dramatically when one analyzes longitudinal-survival data with these features together. Recently, a mixture of skewed distributions has received increasing attention in the treatment of heterogeneous data involving asymmetric behaviors across subclasses, but there are relatively few studies accommodating heterogeneity, non-normality, and measurement error in covariate simultaneously arose in longitudinal-survival data setting. Under the umbrella of Bayesian inference, this article explores a finite mixture of semiparametric mixed-effects joint models with skewed distributions for longitudinal measures with an attempt to mediate homogeneous characteristics, adjust departures from normality, and tailor accuracy from measurement error in covariate as well as overcome shortages of confidence in specifying a time-to-event model. The Bayesian mixture of joint modeling offers an appropriate avenue to estimate not only all parameters of mixture joint models but also probabilities of class membership. Simulation studies are conducted to assess the performance of the proposed method, and a real example is analyzed to demonstrate the methodology. The results are reported by comparing potential models with various scenarios.