Conditional pseudolikelihood methods for clustered ordinal, multinomial, or count outcomes with complex survey data


Correspondence to: Babette A. Brumback, Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health and Health Professions, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, U.S.A.



In order to adjust individual-level covariate effects for confounding due to unmeasured neighborhood characteristics, we have recently developed conditional pseudolikelihood methods to estimate the parameters of a proportional odds model for clustered ordinal outcomes with complex survey data. The methods require sampling design joint probabilities for each within-neighborhood pair. In the present article, we develop a similar methodology for a baseline category logit model for clustered multinomial outcomes and for a loglinear model for clustered count outcomes. All of the estimators and asymptotic sampling distributions we present can be conveniently computed using standard logistic regression software for complex survey data, such as sas proc surveylogistic. We demonstrate validity of the methods theoretically and also empirically by using simulations. We apply the new method for clustered multinomial outcomes to data from the 2008 Florida Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey in order to investigate disparities in frequency of dental cleaning both unadjusted and adjusted for confounding by neighborhood. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.