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Dynamic latent trait models with mixed hidden Markov structure for mixed longitudinal outcomes

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We propose a general Bayesian joint modeling approach to model mixed longitudinal outcomes from the exponential family for taking into account any differential misclassification that may exist among categorical outcomes. Under this framework, outcomes observed without measurement error are related to latent trait variables through generalized linear mixed effect models. The misclassified outcomes are related to the latent class variables, which represent unobserved real states, using mixed hidden Markov models (MHMMs). In addition to enabling the estimation of parameters in prevalence, transition and misclassification probabilities, MHMMs capture cluster level heterogeneity. A transition modeling structure allows the latent trait and latent class variables to depend on observed predictors at the same time period and also on latent trait and latent class variables at previous time periods for each individual. Simulation studies are conducted to make comparisons with traditional models in order to illustrate the gains from the proposed approach. The new approach is applied to data from the Southern California Children Health Study to jointly model questionnaire-based asthma state and multiple lung function measurements in order to gain better insight about the underlying biological mechanism that governs the inter-relationship between asthma state and lung function development.
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Keywords: differential misclassification; joint modeling; latent variable; mixed hidden Markov model; mixed longitudinal outcomes; transition model

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah, 295 Chipeta Way, Salt Lake City, UT, 84018, USA 2: Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Publication date: March 11, 2016

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