Applied analysis of recurrent events: a practical overview

J.W.R. Twisk, N. Smidt, W. de Vente

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    STUDY OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper is to give an overview and comparison of different easily applicable statistical techniques to analyse recurrent event data. SETTING: These techniques include naive techniques and longitudinal techniques such as Cox regression for recurrent events, generalised estimating equations (GEE), and random coefficient analysis. The different techniques are illustrated with a dataset from a randomised controlled trial regarding the treatment of lateral epicondylitis. MAIN RESULTS: The use of different statistical techniques leads to different results and different conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the different intervention strategies. CONCLUSIONS: If you are interested in a particular short term or long term result, simple naive techniques are appropriate. However, if the development of a particular outcome is of interest, statistical techniques that consider the recurrent events and additionally corrects for the dependency of the observations are necessary
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)706-710
    JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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