Introduction Spatial distribution of health indicators and health services use are important for the evaluation of population health and managers actions. In urban areas, to build small areas is not trivial, because there are different travelling possibilities for treatment. The aim of this paper is to present methods for building different types of areas for different applications in public health in a big city in Brazil.
Metodology We used the (x, y) coordinates of health services and tuberculosis cases. The indicators of population characteristics were located at census tract centroids. Tuberculosis rates were mapped using the ratio between the spatial smoothing of tuberculosis cases and the spatial smoothing of population. Catchment area of a health service was mapped based on the spatial smoothing of the tuberculosis cases treated in this service. The health service market was built using the ratio between the spatial smoothing of the cases treated in this service and the spatial smoothing of all disease cases. For risk areas, we mapped the spatial smoothing for each population feature. We sum all maps to elaborate a resultant one.
Results Influence areas differed from health service markets. Health service regionalisation was only partially similar to coverage areas defined by the Tuberculosis Control Program. The tuberculosis rates and risk areas showed some correlation.
Conclusion Different area types shows different types of information for the diagnosis of health conditions, population and health service resources profile, indicating the relation between the population, the health services and the territory.
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