Summary: Longitudinal studies are used in mental health research and services studies. The dominant approaches for longitudinal data analysis are the generalized linear mixed-effects models (GLMM) and the weighted generalized estimating equations (WGEE). Although both classes of models have been extensively published and widely applied, differences between and limitations about these methods are not clearly delineated and well documented. Unfortunately, some of the differences and limitations carry significant implications for reporting, comparing and interpreting research findings. In this report, we review both major approaches for longitudinal data analysis and highlight their similarities and major differences. We focus on comparison of the two classes of models in terms of model assumptions, model parameter interpretation, applicability and limitations, using both real and simulated data. We discuss caveats and cautions when applying the two different approaches to real study data.
- Binary variables
- Correlated outcomes
- Generalized linear mixed-effects models
- Latent variable models
- Weighted generalized estimating equations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health