In longitudinal or hierarchical structure studies, we often encounter a semi-continuous variable that has a certain proportion of a single value and a continuous and skewed distribution among the rest of values. In the paper, we propose a new semi-parametric two-part mixed-effects transformation model to ﬁt correlated skewed semi-continuous data. In our model, we allow the transformation to be non-parametric. Fitting the proposed model faces computational challenges due to intractable numerical integrations. We derive the estimates for the parameter and the transformation function based on an approximate likelihood, which has high order accuracy but less computational burden. We also propose an estimator for the expected value of the semi-continuous outcome on the original-scale. Finally, we apply the proposed methods to a clinical study on effectiveness of a collaborative care treatment on late life depression on health care costs.
Lin, Huazhen and Zhou, Xiao-Hua , "A Semi-Parametric Two-Part Mixed-Effects Heteroscedastic Transformation Model for Correlated Right-Skewed Semi-Continuous Data" (April 2009). UW Biostatistics Working Paper Series. Working Paper 346.