Joint modeling of correlated binary outcomes: The case of contraceptive use and HIV knowledge in Bangladesh

Di Fang, Renyuan Sun, Jeffrey R. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Recent advances in statistical methods enable the study of correlation among outcomes through joint modeling, thereby addressing spillover effects. By joint modeling, we refer to simultaneously analyzing two or more different response variables emanating from the same individual. Using the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, we jointly address spillover effects between contraceptive use (CUC) and knowledge of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Jointly modeling these two outcomes is appropriate because certain types of contraceptive use contribute to the prevention of HIV and STDs and the knowledge and awareness of HIV and STDs typically lead to protection during sexual intercourse. In particular, we compared the differences as they pertained to the interpretive advantage of modeling the spillover effects of joint modeling HIV and CUC as opposed to addressing them separately. We also identified risk factors that determine contraceptive use and knowledge of HIV and STDs among women in Bangladesh. We found that by jointly modeling the correlation between HIV knowledge and contraceptive use, the importance of education decreased. The HIV prevention program had a spillover effect on CUC: what seemed to be impacted by education can be partially contributed to one’s exposure to HIV knowledge. The joint model revealed a less significant impact of covariates as opposed to both separate models and standard models. Additionally, we found a spillover effect that would have otherwise been undiscovered if we did not jointly model. These findings further suggested that the simultaneous impact of correlated outcomes can be adequately addressed for the commonality between different responses and deflate, which is otherwise overestimated when examined separately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0190917
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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