Analysing spatially referenced public health data: A comparison of three methodological approaches

Christine E. Dunn, Simon P. Kingham, Barry Rowlingson, Raj S. Bhopal, Samantha Cockings, Chris J W Foy, Sushma D. Acquilla, Jane Halpin, Peter Diggle, David Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In the analysis of spatially referenced public health data, members of different disciplinary groups (geographers, epidemiologists and statisticians) tend to select different methodological approaches, usually those with which they are already familiar. This paper compares three such approaches in terms of their relative value and results. A single public health dataset, derived from a community survey, is analysed by using 'traditional' epidemiological methods, GIS and point pattern analysis. Since they adopt different 'models' for addressing the same research question, the three approaches produce some variation in the results for specific health-related variables. Taken overall, however, the results complement, rather than contradict or duplicate each other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalHealth and Place
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • GIS
  • Point pattern analysis
  • Public health data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Development
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health(social science)


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