In this paper, we study panel count data with informative observation times. We assume nonparametric and semiparametric proportional rate models for the underlying recurrent event process, where the form of the baseline rate function is left unspecified and a subject-specific frailty variable inflates or deflates the rate function multiplicatively. The proposed models allow the recurrent event processes and observation times to be correlated through their connections with the unobserved frailty; moreover, the distributions of both the frailty variable and observation times are considered as nuisance parameters. The baseline rate function and the regression parameters are estimated by maximizing a conditional likelihood function of observed event counts and solving estimation equations. Large sample properties of the proposed estimators are studied. Numerical studies demonstrate that the proposed estimation procedures perform well for moderate sample sizes. An application to a bladder tumor study is presented to illustrate the use of the proposed methods.


Survival Analysis