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3.3 HEALTH SCIENCES
Background: Geocoding (the process of converting a text address into spatial data) quality may affect geospatial epidemiological study findings. No national standards for best geocoding practice exist in Ireland. Irish postcodes (Eircodes) are not routinely recorded for infectious disease notifications and > 35% of dwellings have non-unique addresses. This may result in incomplete geocoding and introduce systematic errors into studies.
Aims: This study aimed to develop a reliable and reproducible methodology to geocode cryptosporidiosis notifications to fine-resolution spatial units (Census 2016 Small Areas), to enhance data validity and completeness, thus improving geospatial epidemiological studies.
Methods: A protocol was devised to utilise geocoding tools developed by the Health Service Executive's Health Intelligence Unit. Geocoding employed finite-string automated and manual matching, undertaken sequentially in three additive phases. The protocol was applied to a cryptosporidiosis notification dataset (2008-2017) from Ireland's Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting System. Outputs were validated against devised criteria.
Domegan, L. et al. (2021) Geocoding cryptosporidiosis cases in Ireland (2008–2017)—development of a reliable, reproducible, multiphase geocoding methodology, Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -) (2021), 19th Jan. doi: 10.1007/s11845-020-02468-0.