A mixture model for longitudinal data with application to assessment of noncompliance

Biometrics. 2000 Jun;56(2):464-72. doi: 10.1111/j.0006-341x.2000.00464.x.


In clinical trials of a self-administered drug, repeated measures of a laboratory marker, which is affected by study medication and collected in all treatment arms, can provide valuable information on population and individual summaries of compliance. In this paper, we introduce a general finite mixture of nonlinear hierarchical models that allows estimates of component membership probabilities and random effect distributions for longitudinal data arising from multiple subpopulations, such as from noncomplying and complying subgroups in clinical trials. We outline a sampling strategy for fitting these models, which consists of a sequence of Gibbs, Metropolis-Hastings, and reversible jump steps, where the latter is required for switching between component models of different dimensions. Our model is applied to identify noncomplying subjects in the placebo arm of a clinical trial assessing the effectiveness of zidovudine (AZT) in the treatment of patients with HIV, where noncompliance was defined as initiation of AZT during the trial without the investigators' knowledge. We fit a hierarchical nonlinear change-point model for increases in the marker MCV (mean corpuscular volume of erythrocytes) for subjects who noncomply and a constant mean random effects model for those who comply. As part of our fully Bayesian analysis, we assess the sensitivity of conclusions to prior and modeling assumptions and demonstrate how external information and covariates can be incorporated to distinguish subgroups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biometry / methods*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies*
  • Markov Chains
  • Models, Statistical
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Motivation
  • Patient Compliance
  • Treatment Refusal*
  • Zidovudine / therapeutic use


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Zidovudine