This article focuses on statistical implications of proportional rate models for recurrent event data in the presence of a terminal event. In such circumstances, various definitions of the recurrent rate function have been adopted in the proportional rate models. Although these rate functions have quite different interpretations, recognition of the differences has been lacking theoretically and practically. We compare three types of rate functions from both conceptual and quantitative perspectives; conclude that the inappropriate choice of a rate function may lead to misleading scientific conclusions. Simulations are conducted for comparisons of the focused models. Analysis of data from an AIDS clinical trial is presented to illustrate the analytical results.


Survival Analysis