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Scientific article
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Combining school-catchment area models with geostatistical models for analysing school survey data from low-resource settings: Inferential benefits and limitations

Published inSpatial statistics, vol. 51, 100679
Publication date2022-10
Abstract

School-based sampling has been used to inform targeted re-sponses for malaria and neglected tropical diseases. Standard geostatistical methods for mapping disease prevalence use the school location to model spatial correlation, which is question-able since exposure to the disease is more likely to occur in the residential location. In this paper, we propose to overcome the limitations of standard geostatistical methods by introducing a modelling framework that accounts for the uncertainty in the location of the residence of the students. By using cost distance and cost allocation models to define spatial accessibility and in absence of any information on the travel mode of students to school, we consider three school catchment area models that assume walking only, walking and bicycling and, walking and motorized transport. We illustrate the use of this approach using two case studies of malaria in Kenya and compare it with the standard approach that uses the school locations to build geostatistical models. We argue that the proposed modelling framework presents several inferential benefits, such as the abil-ity to combine data from multiple surveys some of which may also record the residence location, and to deal with ecological bias when estimating the effects of malaria risk factors. However, our results show that invalid assumptions on the modes of travel to school can worsen the predictive performance of geostatistical models. Future research in this area should focus on collecting information on the modes of transportation to school which can then be used to better parametrize the catchment area models.

eng
Keywords
  • School survey
  • Disease mapping
  • Catchment area models
  • Missing locations
  • Model-based geostatistics
  • prevalence
Citation (ISO format)
MACHARIA, Peter M. et al. Combining school-catchment area models with geostatistical models for analysing school survey data from low-resource settings: Inferential benefits and limitations. In: Spatial statistics, 2022, vol. 51, p. 100679. doi: 10.1016/j.spasta.2022.100679
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ISSN of the journal2211-6753
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