Analytic methods for modeling longitudinal data from rolling therapy groups with membership turnover
Morgan-Lopez, A., & Fals-Stewart, W. (2007). Analytic methods for modeling longitudinal data from rolling therapy groups with membership turnover. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75(4), 580-593.
Interventions for a variety of emotional and behavioral problems are commonly delivered in the context of treatment groups, with many using rolling admission to sustain membership (i.e., admission, dropout, and discharge from group are perpetual and ongoing). The authors present an overview of the analytic challenges inherent in rolling group data and outline commonly used (but flawed) analytic and design approaches to addressing (or sidestepping) these issues. Moreover, the authors propose use of latent class pattern mixture models (LCPMMs) as a statistically and conceptually defensible approach for modeling treatment data from rolling groups. The LCPMM approach is illustrated with rolling group data from a group-based alcoholism pilot treatment trial (N = 128). Different inferences were made with regard to treatment efficacy under LCPMM vs. the commonly used standard group-clustered latent growth model (LGM); coupled with other preliminary findings in this area, inferences from LGMs may be overly liberal when applied to data from rolling groups. Continued work on data analytic difficulties in groups with membership turnover is critical for furthering the ecological validity of research on behavioral treatments