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A Bayesian multivariate approach to estimating the prevalence of a superordinate category of disorders

Fawcett, JM; Fairbrother, N; Fawcett, EJ; White, IR; (2018) A Bayesian multivariate approach to estimating the prevalence of a superordinate category of disorders. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research , 27 (4) , Article e1742. 10.1002/mpr.1742. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Epidemiological research plays an important role in public health, facilitated by the meta‐analytic aggregation of epidemiological trials into a single, more powerful estimate. This form of aggregation is complicated when estimating the prevalence of a superordinate category of disorders (e.g., “any anxiety disorder,” “any cardiac disorder”) because epidemiological studies rarely include all of the disorders selected to define the superordinate category. In this paper, we suggest that estimating the prevalence of a superordinate category based on studies with differing operationalization of that category (in the form of different disorders measured) is both common and ill‐advised. Our objective is to provide a better approach. METHODS: We propose a multivariate method using individual disorder prevalences to produce a fully Bayesian estimate of the probability of having one or more of those disorders. We validate this approach using a recent case study and parameter recovery simulations. RESULTS: Our approach produced less biased and more reliable estimates than other common approaches, which were at times highly biased. CONCLUSION: Although our approach entails additional effort (e.g., contacting authors for individual participant data), the improved accuracy of the prevalence estimates obtained is significant and therefore recommended.

Type: Article
Title: A Bayesian multivariate approach to estimating the prevalence of a superordinate category of disorders
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/mpr.1742
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/mpr.1742
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Authors International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creative commons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Bayesian modelling, epidemiology, methods, multivariate model, meta‐analysis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057891
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