Bayesian latent variable models for clustered mixed outcomes
A general framework is proposed for modelling clustered mixed outcomes. A mixture of generalized linear models is used to describe the joint distribution of a set of underlying variables, and an arbitrary function relates the underlying variables to the observed outcomes. The model accommodates multilevel data structures, general covariate effects and distinct link functions and error distributions for each underlying variable. Within the framework proposed, novel models are developed for clustered multiple binary, unordered categorical and joint discrete and continuous outcomes. A Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling algorithm is described for estimating the posterior distributions of the parameters and latent variables. Because of the flexibility of the modelling framework and estimation procedure, extensions to ordered categorical outcomes and more complex data structures are straightforward. The methods are illustrated by using data from a reproductive toxicity study.
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