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Papers of the Week

Papers: 3 Jun 2023 - 9 Jun 2023

Methodology, Translational

Human Studies, In Silico Studies


2023 Jun 06

Stat Med


Mixture of longitudinal factor analyzers and their application to the assessment of chronic pain.


Ounajim A, Slaoui Y, Louis PY, Billot M, Frasca D, Rigoard P


Multivariate longitudinal data are used in a variety of research areas not only because they allow to analyze time trajectories of multiple indicators, but also to determine how these trajectories are influenced by other covariates. In this article, we propose a mixture of longitudinal factor analyzers. This model could be used to extract latent factors representing multiple longitudinal noisy indicators in heterogeneous longitudinal data and to study the impact of one or several covariates on these latent factors. One of the advantages of this model is that it allows for measurement non-invariance, which arises in practice when the factor structure varies between groups of individuals due to cultural or physiological differences. This is achieved by estimating different factor models for different latent classes. The proposed model could also be used to extract latent classes with different latent factor trajectories over time. Other advantages of the model include its ability to take into account heteroscedasticity of errors in the factor analysis model by estimating different error variances for different latent classes. We first define the mixture of longitudinal factor analyzers and its parameters. Then, we propose an EM algorithm to estimate these parameters. We propose a Bayesian information criterion to identify both the number of components in the mixture and the number of latent factors. We then discuss the comparability of the latent factors obtained between subjects in different latent groups. Finally, we apply the model to simulated and real data of patients with chronic postoperative pain.