Diagramming the Health Problem

Diagramming the Health Problem In health program planning, understanding what causes a health problem and how those causes

the issue of how to portray rates. The problem is a simple one: If a geographic area has a small population (denominator), then a small variation in the occurrence of a health problem (numerator) will inevitably lead to a large change in the rate or proportion of that health problem. This instability of the rate affects the conclusions that can logically be drawn from the data. The same statistical problem also occurs when the analysis focuses on a small geographic area, such as a parish, county, or legislative district. Another, concern with small numbers is the potential breach of confidentiality, given the possibility of identifying an individual when the number of cases in a row by column cell is small. Guidelines for maintaining confidentiality exist  and ought to be followed.

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