Biom J. 2022 Oct 26. doi: 10.1002/bimj.202100361. Online ahead of print.
Joint analysis of recurrent and nonrecurrent terminal events has attracted substantial attention in literature. However, there lacks formal methodology for such analysis when the event time data are on discrete scales, even though some modeling and inference strategies have been developed for discrete-time survival analysis. We propose a discrete-time joint modeling approach for the analysis of recurrent and terminal events where the two types of events may be correlated with each other. The proposed joint modeling assumes a shared frailty to account for the dependence among recurrent events and between the recurrent and the terminal terminal events. Also, the joint modeling allows for time-dependent covariates and rich families of transformation models for the recurrent and terminal events. A major advantage of our approach is that it does not assume a distribution for the frailty, nor does it assume a Poisson process for the analysis of the recurrent event. The utility of the proposed analysis is illustrated by simulation studies and two real applications, where the application to the biochemists’ rank promotion data jointly analyzes the biochemists’ citation numbers and times to rank promotion, and the application to the scleroderma lung study data jointly analyzes the adverse events and off-drug time among patients with the symptomatic scleroderma-related interstitial lung disease.