Module 9: Applied Longitudinal Analysis

Dates - Venue - Description - Target audience - Exam
Course prerequisites - Teachers - Course material - Fees - Enrol


Monday and Thursday evenings: April 11, 14, 18, 21, 25 and 28, 2016, from 5.30 pm to 9 pm.


Faculty of Science , Campus Sterre, Krijgslaan 281, Building S9, Ghent


Longitudinal studies, employing repeated measurement of subjects over time, play a prominent role in many fields. In the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences for example, they may provide valuable insights into both the development and persistence of disease and those factors that can alter the course of disease development.

In the social sciences, longitudinal studies can be used to examine thoughts, feelings, physiology and behavior in their natural contexts and can show the unfolding of a temporal process.

In this course, we will offer a systematic presentation of modern methods for the analysis of such studies, with an emphasis on practical applications in biomedical research and in psychology.

The course will begin with a discussion of the usefulness of longitudinal studies over cross-sectional studies and the limitations of standard regression methods for analyzing longitudinal studies.

The course will then cover the general linear mixed model for the analysis of continuous responses. A wide range of examples drawn from real-world studies will be used to illustrate the methods for estimating models in SAS and R and for interpreting model coefficients.

The regression modeling will cover model building for the mean and covariance structure to choose parsimonious models, predictions of patient-specific profiles and verification of goodness-of-fit of the model.

In the final lecture, we will briefly discuss specialized topics, including the problem of missing data in longitudinal studies, adjustment for baseline responses and evaluation of the effect of time-varying exposures.

All methods will be illustrated with annotated computer output from SAS and R. Hands-on computer sessions will help practice the principles to which one is exposed in this course.

    Target audience

    This course will benefit medical investigators, research scientists, psychologists, … who need to use statistical methods for analyzing data that are collected over time.


    Participants can, if they wish, take part in an exam. Upon succeeding in this test a certificate from Ghent University will be issued to participants with a university degree at the bachelor level or an equivalent degree.

    To qualify for reimbursement from the UGent Doctoral Schools one must attend all classes and pass the exam. Additional conditions and procedure.

    Course prerequisites

    Participants are expected to be familiar with the basic principles of statistical inference and of linear regression analysis.


    Foto lesgeverProf. dr. Tom Loeys is Professor at Ghent University, Department of Data Analysis, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences. His methodological interests include causal mediation analysis and dyadic data analysis. He also worked in the pharmaceutical industry, where he was involved in the design and analysis of clinical trials.


    Foto lesgeverProf. dr. Stijn Vansteelandt is Professor at Ghent University, Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Faculty of Science. He teaches courses in statistics to students in the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science and the Masters program in Statistical Data Analysis. He did postdoctoral research at the Harvard School of Public Health and Ghent University. His current research focuses mainly on mediation analysis and estimation of the causal effect of time-varying exposures in longitudinal studies.

    Course material

    Copies of lecture notes.

    Recommended handbook (optional):

    "Applied Longitudinal Analysis", G.M. Fitzmaurice, N.M. Laird and J.H. Ware, 2nd ed. (2011), John Wiley and Sons, ISBN 978-0470744611.


    A different price applies, depending on your main type of employment.

    EmploymentModule 9BookExam
    Industry/Private sector1 800 120 30
    Non-profit, government, university outside AUGent2 360 120 30
    (Doctoral)student outside AUGent2 280 120 30

    1 If three or more employees from the same company enrol simultaneously for this course a reduction of 10% on the module price is taken into account.

    2 AUGent staff and AUGent doctoral students who pay through use of an SAP internal order/invoice can participate at these special prices.

    Enrol for this course