Current Research in Biostatistics

Does Over or Under Dispersion in Inverse Binomial Data Suggest Anything? A Case in Point is the Waiting Time for Both Heart-Lung Transplants

Ramalingam Shanmugam

DOI : 10.3844/amjbsp.2013.30.37

Current Research in Biostatistics

Volume 3, 2013

Pages 30-37

Abstract

The model is an abstraction of the reality. The selection of the usual inverse binomial as an underlying model for the number of patients waiting in months for heart and lung transplant is questionable because the data exhibit not the required balance between the dispersion and its functional equivalent in terms of the mean but rather an over or under dispersion. This phenomenon of over/under dispersion has been a challenge to find an appropriate underlying model for the data. This article offers an innovative approach with a new model to resolve the methodological breakdown. The new model is named Imbalanced Inverse Binomial Model (IIBM). A statistical methodology is devised based on IIBM to analyze the collected data. The methodology is illustrated with a real life data on the number of patients waiting in months for heart and lung transplants together. The results in the illustration do convince that the new approach is quite powerful and brings out a lot more information which would have been missed otherwise. In specific, the odds of receiving the organs are higher under an estimated imbalance in the data than under an ideal zero imbalance in all the states except Alabama. The odds are consistently higher under an estimated imbalance in the data than under an ideal zero imbalance across all the age groups waiting in months. Further research work is needed to identify and explain the factors which might have caused the imbalance between the observed dispersion in the data and its functionally equivalent amount according to the underlying inverse binomial model for the data. The contents of this article remains the foundation on which the future research work will be built.

Copyright

© 2013 Ramalingam Shanmugam. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.