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Biometrics. 2002 Jun;58(2):316-23.

Modeling multivariate survival data by a semiparametric random effects proportional odds model.

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Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


In this article, the focus is on the analysis of multivariate survival time data with various types of dependence structures. Examples of multivariate survival data include clustered data and repeated measurements from the same subject, such as the interrecurrence times of cancer tumors. A random effect semiparametric proportional odds model is proposed as an alternative to the proportional hazards model. The distribution of the random effects is assumed to be multivariate normal and the random effect is assumed to act additively to the baseline log-odds function. This class of models, which includes the usual shared random effects model, the additive variance components model, and the dynamic random effects model as special cases, is highly flexible and is capable of modeling a wide range of multivariate survival data. A unified estimation procedure is proposed to estimate the regression and dependence parameters simultaneously by means of a marginal-likelihood approach. Unlike the fully parametric case, the regression parameter estimate is not sensitive to the choice of correlation structure of the random effects. The marginal likelihood is approximated by the Monte Carlo method. Simulation studies are carried out to investigate the performance of the proposed method. The proposed method is applied to two well-known data sets, including clustered data and recurrent event times data.

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