Developing the atlas of cancer in Queensland : methodological issues

Cramb, Susanna, Mengersen, Kerrie, & Baade, Peter (2011) Developing the atlas of cancer in Queensland : methodological issues. International Journal of Health Geographics, 10, p. 9.

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Background: Achieving health equity has been identified as a major challenge, both internationally and within Australia. Inequalities in cancer outcomes are well documented, and must be quantified before they can be addressed. One method of portraying geographical variation in data uses maps. Recently we have produced thematic maps showing the geographical variation in cancer incidence and survival across Queensland, Australia. This article documents the decisions and rationale used in producing these maps, with the aim to assist others in producing chronic disease atlases.

Methods: Bayesian hierarchical models were used to produce the estimates. Justification for the cancers chosen, geographical areas used, modelling method, outcome measures mapped, production of the adjacency matrix, assessment of convergence, sensitivity analyses performed and determination of significant geographical variation is provided.

Conclusions: Although careful consideration of many issues is required, chronic disease atlases are a useful tool for assessing and quantifying geographical inequalities. In addition they help focus research efforts to investigate why the observed inequalities exist, which in turn inform advocacy, policy, support and education programs designed to reduce these inequalities.

Impact and interest:

17 citations in Scopus
14 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 44105
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: cancer, bayesian hierarchical models, incidence, relative survival, queensland
DOI: 10.1186/1476-072X-10-9
ISSN: 1476-072X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > STATISTICS (010400) > Applied Statistics (010401)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > Mathematical Sciences
Copyright Owner: 2011 Cramb et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Deposited On: 22 Aug 2011 03:01
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2015 02:43

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