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Missing Data Mechanisms for Analysing Longitudinal Data with Incomplete Observations in Both Responses and Covariates

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Missing observations in both responses and covariates arise frequently in longitudinal studies. When missing data are missing not at random, inferences under the likelihood framework often require joint modelling of response and covariate processes, as well as missing data processes associated with incompleteness of responses and covariates. Specification of these four joint distributions is a nontrivial issue from the perspectives of both modelling and computation. To get around this problem, we employ pairwise likelihood formulations, which avoid the specification of third or higher order association structures. In this paper, we consider three specific missing data mechanisms which lead to further simplified pairwise likelihood (SPL) formulations. Under these missing data mechanisms, inference methods based on SPL formulations are developed. The resultant estimators are consistent, and enjoy better robustness and computation convenience. The performance is evaluated empirically though simulation studies. Longitudinal data from the National Population Health Survey and Waterloo Smoking Prevention Project are analysed to illustrate the usage of our methods. This paper proposes three specific missing data mechanisms for longitudinal data with missingness in both responses and covariates.
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Keywords: missing covariate; missing data mechanism; missing response; pairwise likelihood; robustness

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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