Bayesian time-series analysis of a repeated-measures Poisson outcome with excess zeroes

Terrence E. Murphy, Peter H. Van Ness, Katy L.B. Araujo, Margaret A. Pisani

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4 Scopus citations


In this article, the authors demonstrate a time-series analysis based on a hierarchical Bayesian model of a Poisson outcome with an excessive number of zeroes. The motivating example for this analysis comes from the intensive care unit (ICU) of an urban university teaching hospital (New Haven, Connecticut, 2002-2004). Studies of medication use among older patients in the ICU are complicated by statistical factors such as an excessive number of zero doses, periodicity, and within-person autocorrelation. Whereas time-series techniques adjust for autocorrelation and periodicity in outcome measurements, Bayesian analysis provides greater precision for small samples and the flexibility to conduct posterior predictive simulations. By applying elements of time-series analysis within both frequentist and Bayesian frameworks, the authors evaluate differences in shift-based dosing of medication in a medical ICU. From a small sample and with adjustment for excess zeroes, linear trend, autocorrelation, and clinical covariates, both frequentist and Bayesian models provide evidence of a significant association between a specific nursing shift and dosing level of a sedative medication. Furthermore, the posterior distributions from a Bayesian random-effects Poisson model permit posterior predictive simulations of related results that are potentially difficult to model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1230-1237
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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