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Does group-based trajectory modeling estimate spurious trajectories?


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Mésidor, Miceline; Rousseau, Marie-Claude ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5215-8086; O'Loughlin, Jennifer et Sylvestre, Marie-Pierre (2022). Does group-based trajectory modeling estimate spurious trajectories? BMC Medical Research Methodology , vol. 22 , nº 194. pp. 1-11. DOI: 10.1186/s12874-022-01622-9.

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BACKGROUND: Group-based trajectory modelling (GBTM) is increasingly used to identify subgroups of individuals with similar patterns. In this paper, we use simulated and real-life data to illustrate that GBTM is susceptible to generating spurious findings in some circumstances.

METHODS: Six plausible scenarios, two of which mimicked published analyses, were simulated. Models with 1 to 10 trajectory subgroups were estimated and the model that minimized the Bayes criterion was selected. For each scenario, we assessed whether the method identified the correct number of trajectories, the correct shapes of the trajectories, and the mean number of participants of each trajectory subgroup. The performance of the average posterior probabilities, relative entropy and mismatch criteria to assess classification adequacy were compared.

RESULTS: Among the six scenarios, the correct number of trajectories was identified in two, the correct shapes in four and the mean number of participants of each trajectory subgroup in only one. Relative entropy and mismatch outperformed the average posterior probability in detecting spurious trajectories.

CONCLUSION: Researchers should be aware that GBTM can generate spurious findings, especially when the average posterior probability is used as the sole criterion to evaluate model fit. Several model adequacy criteria should be used to assess classification adequacy.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: Average posterior probability; Group-based trajectory modeling; Mismatch; Relative entropy; Simulated subgroups
Centre: Centre INRS-Institut Armand Frappier
Date de dépôt: 25 juill. 2023 04:27
Dernière modification: 25 juill. 2023 04:27
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/13427

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