Nowadays there is an increased medical interest in personalized medicine and tailoring decision making to the needs of individual patients. Within this context our developments are motivated from a Dutch study at the Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Department of the Erasmus Medical Center, consisting of patients who received a human tissue valve in aortic position and who were thereafter monitored echocardiographically. Our aim is to utilize the available follow-up measurements of the current patients to produce dynamically updated predictions of both survival and freedom from re-intervention for future patients. In this paper, we propose to jointly model multiple longitudinal measurements combined with competing risk survival outcomes and derive the dynamically updated cumulative incidence functions. Moreover, we investigate whether different features of the longitudinal processes would change significantly the prediction for the events of interest by considering different types of association structures, such as time-dependent trajectory slopes and time-dependent cumulative effects. Our final contribution focuses on optimizing the quality of the derived predictions. In particular, instead of choosing one final model over a list of candidate models which ignores model uncertainty, we propose to suitably combine predictions from all considered models using Bayesian model averaging.

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Keywords individualized risk predictions, joint models, longitudinal data analysis, Model averaging, survival analysis
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Journal Statistical Methods in Medical Research
Andrinopoulou, E-R, Rizopoulos, D, Takkenberg, J.J.M, & Lesaffre, E.M.E.H. (2017). Combined dynamic predictions using joint models of two longitudinal outcomes and competing risk data. Statistical Methods in Medical Research, 26(4), 1787–1801. doi:10.1177/0962280215588340