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Statistical methods for research on regional health-care services

Authors/Editors: Sundmacher, L.
Götz, N
Vogt, V
Publication Date: 2014
Type of Publication: Articles in Refereed Journals (National)
ISBN/ISSN: 1437-1588
erschienen in: Bundesgesundheitsblatt
Weitere Quellenangabe: Volume 57(2), Pages 174-179


Accurate modeling of spatial dependencies between observations is a significant challenge in research on regional health-care services. This article provides insight into current methods of modeling relationships in regional health-care service research, with consideration of spatial dependencies. Spatial dependencies may be triggered by spillover effects between neighboring regions and spatially distributed differences in – e.g., morbidity – which are not observable. If not considered in the model, the results of the analyses may be biased. Spatial dependencies can be added to the regression model as a spatial lag or a spatial error term. Using an example study, we illustrate that failing to consider spatial autocorrelation may lead to biased coefficients and/or standard errors. Research on regional health-care services should, therefore, if possible, test for spatial autocorrelation in the data and adjust the model accordingly.

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