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Disease Maps and Geographic Map Projections - A Simulation Study and Scoping Review

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Title: Disease Maps and Geographic Map Projections - A Simulation Study and Scoping Review
Author: Selvaratnam, Inthuja
Program: Population Medicine
Advisor: Berke, Olaf
Abstract: Disease mapping is a common method in epidemiologic research. Although disease maps are ubiquitous and regarded as informative communication tools in public health, no widely accepted style guides and reporting guidelines have been established. This thesis presents a scoping review to broadly characterize of studies using disease maps and selected reporting practices of published disease maps in the scientific literature to identify any gaps and inconsistencies. Map projections were infrequently reported for disease maps. Varying the projection of disease maps and related spatial data can affect spatial statistical analyses and specifically the results of disease cluster detection methods. This is demonstrated here for spatial point pattern data and related point maps. Findings from this thesis support the development of a reporting guideline for disease maps. Such a reporting guideline can benefit and advance the research community by improving reproducibility and minimizing misinterpretations.
Date: 2020-09
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