A novel approach used outcome distribution curves to estimate the population-level impact of a public health intervention
2014 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, ISSN 0895-4356, E-ISSN 1878-5921, Vol. 67, no 7, 785-792 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objectives: To provide an analytical framework within which public health interventions can be evaluated, present its mathematical proof, and demonstrate its use using real trial data. Study Design and Setting: This article describes a method to assess population-level effects by describing change using the distribution curve. The area between the two overlapping distribution curves at baseline and follow-up represents the impact of the intervention, that is, the proportion of the target population that benefited from the intervention. Results: Using trial data from a parenting program, empirical proof of the idea is demonstrated on a measure of behavioral problems in 355 preschoolers using the Gaussian distribution curve. The intervention group had a 12% [9%-17%] health gain, whereas the control group had 3% [1%-7%]. In addition, for the subgroup of parents with lower education, the intervention produced a 15% [6%-25%] improvement, whereas for the group of parents with higher education the net health gain was 6% [4%-16%]. Conclusion: It is possible to calculate the impact of public health interventions by using the distribution curve of a variable, which requires knowing the distribution function. The method can be used to assess the differential impact of population interventions and their potential to improve health inequities.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 67, no 7, 785-792 p.
Public health, Intervention studies, Normal distribution, Area under the curve, Primary prevention, Parenting education
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-228973DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.12.012ISI: 000337983600009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-228973DiVA: diva2:735304