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Generalized linear mixed-model (GLMM) trees: A flexible decision-tree method for multilevel and longitudinal data

Fokkema, M; Edbrooke-Childs, J; Wolpert, M; (2020) Generalized linear mixed-model (GLMM) trees: A flexible decision-tree method for multilevel and longitudinal data. Psychotherapy Research pp. 1-13. 10.1080/10503307.2020.1785037. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: Decision-tree methods are machine-learning methods which provide results that are relatively easy to interpret and apply by human decision makers. The resulting decision trees show how baseline patient characteristics can be combined to predict treatment outcomes for individual patients, for example. This paper introduces GLMM trees, a decision-tree method for multilevel and longitudinal data. Method: To illustrate, we apply GLMM trees to a dataset of 3,256 young people (mean age 11.33, 48% girls) receiving treatment at one of several mental-health service providers in the UK. Two treatment outcomes (mental-health difficulties scores corrected for baseline) were regressed on 18 demographic, case and severity characteristics at baseline. We compared the performance of GLMM trees with that of traditional GLMMs and random forests. Results: GLMM trees yielded modest predictive accuracy, with cross-validated multiple R values of .18 and .25. Predictive accuracy did not differ significantly from that of traditional GLMMs and random forests, while GLMM trees required evaluation of a lower number of variables. Conclusion: GLMM trees provide a useful data-analytic tool for clinical prediction problems. The supplemental material provides a tutorial for replicating the GLMM tree analyses in R.

Type: Article
Title: Generalized linear mixed-model (GLMM) trees: A flexible decision-tree method for multilevel and longitudinal data
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/10503307.2020.1785037
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2020.1785037
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: decision making, decision-tree methods, mixed-effects models, multilevel data, subgroup detection
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 Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106613
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