Making the most of spatial information in health: A tutorial in Bayesian disease mapping for areal data

Kang, Su Yun, Cramb, Susanna, White, Nicole, Ball, Stephen J., & Mengersen, Kerrie (2016) Making the most of spatial information in health: A tutorial in Bayesian disease mapping for areal data. Geospatial Health, 11(2), pp. 190-198.

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Disease maps are effective tools for explaining and predicting patterns of disease outcomes across geographical space, identifying areas of potentially elevated risk, and formulating and validating aetiological hypotheses for a disease. Bayesian models have become a standard approach to disease mapping in recent decades. This article aims to provide a basic understanding of the key concepts involved in Bayesian disease mapping methods for areal data. It is anticipated that this will help in interpretation of published maps, and provide a useful starting point for anyone interested in running disease mapping methods for areal data. The article provides detailed motivation and descriptions on disease mapping methods by explaining the concepts, defining the technical terms, and illustrating the utility of disease mapping for epidemiological research by demonstrating various ways of visualising model outputs using a case study. The target audience includes spatial scientists in health and other fields, policy or decision makers, health geographers, spatial analysts, public health professionals, and epidemiologists.

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ID Code: 92908
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: areal data, Bayesian, disease mapping, spatial, visualisation
DOI: 10.4081/gh.2016.428
ISSN: 1827-1987
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > STATISTICS (010400) > Biostatistics (010402)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical & Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS)
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 S.Y. Kang et al. Licensee PAGEPress, Italy
Copyright Statement:

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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Deposited On: 17 Feb 2016 02:46
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2016 12:50

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