Geospatial analyses to prioritize public health interventions: A case study of pedestrian and pedal cycle injuries in New South Wales, Australia


Objectives Pedestrian and pedal cycle injuries are important causes of child morbidity and mortality. The combination of Bayesian methods and geographical distribution maps may assist public health practitioners to identify communities at high risk of injury. Methods Data were obtained on all hospitalizations of children from NSW (Australia), for pedestrian and pedal cycle injuries, from 2000-2001 to 2004-2005. Using Bayesian methods, posterior expected rate ratios (as an estimate of smoothed standardized hospitalization ratios for each injury mechanism) were mapped by local government area (LGA) across the state. Results There were over 7,000 hospitalizations for pedestrian and pedal cycle injuries. High risk LGAs accounted for more than one third of hospitalized pedestrian and pedal cycle injuries in NSW. Conclusions LGAs at high risk for pedestrian injury tended to be urbanized metropolitan areas with a high population density, while high risk LGAs for pedal cycle injury tended to be either in urban regional areas, or on the margin of urbanized metropolitan areas. Geospatial analyses can assist policymakers and practitioners to identify high risk communities for which public health interventions can be prioritized. © Swiss School of Public Health 2011.

International Journal of Public Health