Hello, I need some help using Generalized estimating equations (GEE). I am new to using GEE but have done my best to read up on how to use it. Unfortunately it has not gotten me far.

We are measuring data using a checklist. We plan to score our data as 1 (completely reported), 0.5 (partially reported), or 0 (not reported). This makes our criterion variable fractional rather than count data if I understand correctly. Furthermore, since particular items do not apply to all trials, we plan to generate a percent completion score for each trial based on the number of applicable items reported to the total number of applicable items (i.e., the denominators will slightly vary in some trials). We are now comparing the percent completion to baseline characteristics to see if there is a correlation. My question is, should we specify a Gaussian distribution given these considerations? Also, should we specify the correlation as independent or exchangeable?

We are running our data analysis with Stata, and we are currently using the xtgee function. We are specifying it with “family(gaussian) link(identity) corr(independent)” but we are not certain if this is producing the correct results or not.

Thank you for any help