Author(s): MacNab YC
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Abstract This article presents a recent study which applies Bayesian hierarchical methodology to model and analyse accident and injury surveillance data. A hierarchical Poisson random effects spatio-temporal model is introduced and an analysis of inter-regional variations and regional trends in hospitalisations due to motor vehicle accident injuries to boys aged 0-24 in the province of British Columbia, Canada, is presented. The objective of this article is to illustrate how the modelling technique can be implemented as part of an accident and injury surveillance and prevention system where transportation and/or health authorities may routinely examine accidents, injuries, and hospitalisations to target high-risk regions for prevention programs, to evaluate prevention strategies, and to assist in health planning and resource allocation. The innovation of the methodology is its ability to uncover and highlight important underlying structure of the data. Between 1987 and 1996, British Columbia hospital separation registry registered 10,599 motor vehicle traffic injury related hospitalisations among boys aged 0-24 who resided in British Columbia, of which majority (89\%) of the injuries occurred to boys aged 15-24. The injuries were aggregated by three age groups (0-4, 5-14, and 15-24), 20 health regions (based of place-of-residence), and 10 calendar years (1987 to 1996) and the corresponding mid-year population estimates were used as 'at risk' population. An empirical Bayes inference technique using penalised quasi-likelihood estimation was implemented to model both rates and counts, with spline smoothing accommodating non-linear temporal effects. The results show that (a) crude rates and ratios at health region level are unstable, (b) the models with spline smoothing enable us to explore possible shapes of injury trends at both the provincial level and the regional level, and (c) the fitted models provide a wealth of information about the patterns (both over space and time) of the injury counts, rates and ratios. During the 10-year period, high injury risk ratios evolved from northwest to central-interior and the southeast [corrected].
This article was published in Accid Anal Prev
and referenced in Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering