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2.  Belgian health-related data in three international databases 
Aims of the study
This study wants to examine the availability of Belgian healthcare data in the three main international health databases: the World Health Organization European Health for All Database (WHO-HFA), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Health Data 2009 and EUROSTAT.
Methods
For the indicators present in the three databases, the availability of Belgian data and the source of these data were checked.
Main findings
The most important problem concerning the availability of Belgian health-related data in the three major international databases is the lack of recent data. Recent data are available for 27% of the indicators of the WHO-HFA database, 73% of the OECD Health Data, and for half of the Eurostat indicators. Especially recent data about health status (including mortality-based indicators) are lacking.
Discussion
Only the availability of the health-related data is studied in this article. The quality of the Belgian data is however also important to examine.
The main problem concerning the availability of health data is the timeliness. One of the causes of this lack of (especially mortality) data is the reform of the Belgian State. Nowadays mortality data are provided by the communities. This results in a delay in the delivery of national mortality data. However several efforts are made to catch up.
doi:10.1186/0778-7367-69-6
PMCID: PMC3436617  PMID: 22958554
Belgium; databases; health status indicators; public health
3.  Words, words, words 
doi:10.1186/0778-7367-69-1
PMCID: PMC3436648  PMID: 22958413
4.  A longitudinal study on the Ghislenghien disaster in Belgium: strengths and weaknesses of the study design and influence on response rate 
Archives of Public Health  2009;67(3):116-127.
Background
A longitudinal study was conducted in order to assess the impact of the Ghislenghien disaster (Belgium) on physical, mental and social health, and to evaluate the prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the affected population.
Objectives
To describe the set up of the study, to report on the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology employed and its influence on response rate. To clarify the importance of the study for the management of disasters.
Methods/Design
The study included adults (≥ 15 years) and children (8-14 years) at risk of developing adverse health effects related to the disaster. Subjects were connected to the disaster through their geographical or professional proximity as well as connections through relatives. Questionnaires were sent by regular mail 5 months and 14 months after the disaster. Pearson Chi square tests were used to investigate whether the response rate at 14 months depended on the exposure classification.
Results
The response rate at household level was respectively 18% (n = 607 families) and 56% (n = 338 families) 5 months and 14 months after the disaster. Response rate at the follow up period did not significantly differ by exposure classification.
Discussion
This paper discusses the difficulties and challenges encountered during the design of the study. It discusses the determinants of response in relation to disaster related characteristics. It further provides an overview of lessons learnt and the significance of the study for the management of large scale emergencies.
doi:10.1186/0778-7367-67-3-116
PMCID: PMC3463017
Technological disaster; exposure classification; gas explosion; longitudinal study; response rate

Results 1-4 (4)