Estimating infectious diseases incidence: validity of capture-recapture analysis and truncated models for incomplete count data

Rob Hest, AD Grant, F Smit, A Story, Jan hendrik Richardus

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Capture-recapture analysis has been used to evaluate infectious disease surveillance. Violation of the underlying assumptions can jeopardize the validity of the capture-recapture estimates and a tool is needed for cross-validation. We re-examined 19 datasets of log-linear model capture-recapture studies on infectious disease incidence using three truncated models for incomplete count data as alternative population estimators. The truncated models yield comparable estimates to independent log-linear capture-recapture models and to parsimonious log-linear models when the number of patients is limited. or the ratio between patients registered once and twice is between 0.5 and 1.5. Compared to saturated log-linear models the truncated models produce considerably lower and often more plausible estimates. We conclude that for estimating infectious disease incidence independent and parsimonious three-source log-linear capture-recapture models are preferable but truncated models can be used as a heuristic tool to identify possible failure in log-linear models, especially when saturated log-linear models are selected.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)14-22
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology & Infection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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