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Keywords:

  • Bayesian modelling;
  • Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods;
  • hierarchical model;
  • lung transplant;
  • home monitoring;
  • ROC

Abstract

This study compares a typical heuristic algorithm with classical and Bayesian regression models in ascertaining the presence of acute bronchopulmonary disease events in lung transplant recipients. These models attempt to predict whether an epoch will end in an event, based on the preceding two weeks of data. The data consist of 150 two-week epochs of daily to biweekly spirometry and symptom covariates for 30 subjects over 60 subject-years. Seventy-five ‘event’ epochs end on a day when an acute bronchopulmonary disease event is documented in the medical record; 75 randomly selected ‘non-event’ epochs end on a day when no event is documented. The data are partitioned by randomly assigning 15 subjects for training and the remaining 15 subjects for testing. For cross-validation, a second random partition is generated from the same data set. The statistical models are trained and tested on both partitions. For the heuristic algorithm, its historical event classifications on the same test cases are used. Classification performance on both partitions of all models is compared using receiver operating characteristic curves, sensitivity and specificity, and a Shannon information score. Data partition did not appreciably affect statistical model performance. All statistical models, unlike the heuristic algorithm, performed significantly different than chance (family significance <0.05, Pearson independence chi-square, Bonferroni multiple correction), and better than the heuristic algorithm. The best models were Bayesian changepoint models. Through a clinically oriented discussion, a case classified by all of these algorithms is presented, suggesting the clinical usefulness of the Bayesian approach compared with the classical and heuristic approaches. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.