Visualising disease progression on multiple variables with vector plots and path plots
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Lazic, S. E., Mason, S., Michell, A. W., & Barker, R. (2009). Visualising disease progression on multiple variables with vector plots and path plots. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-9-32
Abstract Background It is often desirable to observe how a disease progresses over time in individual patients, rather than graphing group averages; and since multiple outcomes are typically recorded on each patient, it would be advantageous to visualise disease progression on multiple variables simultaneously. Methods A variety of vector plots and a path plot have been developed for this purpose, and data from a longitudinal Huntington's disease study are used to illustrate the utility of these graphical methods for exploratory data analysis. Results Initial and final values for three outcome variables can be easily visualised per patient, along with the change in these variables over time. In addition to the disease trajectory, the path individual patients take from initial to final observation can be traced. Categorical variables can be coded with different types of vectors or paths (e.g. different colours, line types, line thickness) and separate panels can be used to include further categorical or continuous variables, allowing clear visualisation of further information for each individual. In addition, summary statistics such as mean vectors, bivariate interquartile ranges and convex polygons can be included to assist in interpreting trajectories, comparing groups, and detecting multivariate outliers. Conclusion Vector and path plots are useful graphical methods for exploratory data analysis when individual-level information on multiple variables over time is desired, and they have several advantages over plotting each variable separately.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-9-32
This record's URL: http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/237917
Rights Holder: Lazic et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.