Semiparametric methods for clustered recurrent event data

Lifetime Data Anal. 2005 Sep;11(3):405-25. doi: 10.1007/s10985-005-2970-y.


In biomedical studies, the event of interest is often recurrent and within-subject events cannot usually be assumed independent. In addition, individuals within a cluster might not be independent; for example, in multi-center or familial studies, subjects from the same center or family might be correlated. We propose methods of estimating parameters in two semi-parametric proportional rates/means models for clustered recurrent event data. The first model contains a baseline rate function which is common across clusters, while the second model features cluster-specific baseline rates. Dependence structures for patients-within-cluster and events-within-patient are both unspecified. Estimating equations are derived for the regression parameters. For the common baseline model, an estimator of the baseline mean function is proposed. The asymptotic distributions of the model parameters are derived, while finite-sample properties are assessed through a simulation study. Using data from a national organ failure registry, the proposed methods are applied to the analysis of technique failures among Canadian dialysis patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Cluster Analysis*
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Survival Analysis
  • United States