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Title: Seemingly unrelated multi-state processes: A Bayesian semiparametric approach Authors:  Maria De Iorio - UCL (United Kingdom) [presenting]
Abstract: Many applications in medical statistics as well as in other fields can be described by transitions between multiple states (e.g. from health to disease) experienced by individuals over time. In this context, multi-state models are a popular statistical technique, in particular when the exact transition times are not observed. The key quantities of interest are the transition rates, capturing the instantaneous risk of moving from one state to another. The main contribution is to propose a joint semiparametric model for several possibly related multi-state processes (Seemingly Unrelated Multi-State, SUMS, processes), assuming a Markov structure for the transitions over time. The dependence between different processes is captured by specifying a joint random effect distribution on the transition rates of each process. We assume a flexible random effect distribution, which allows for clustering of the individuals, overdispersion and outliers. Moreover, we employ a graph structure to describe the dependence among processes, exploiting tools from the Gaussian Graphical model literature. It is also possible to include covariate effects. We use our approach to model disease progression in mental health. Posterior inference is performed through a specially devised MCMC algorithm.