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Journal Article

Citation

Zamanian M, Zolala F, Haghdoost AA, Haji-Maghsoudi S, Heydari Z, Baneshi MR. PLoS One 2019; 14(6): e0217481.

Affiliation

Modeling in Health Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, Public Library of Science)

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0217481

PMID

31185067

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Network Scale Up (NSU) is a promising tool for size estimation of sensitive issues. In this study we investigated the important methodological considerations to employ this method for estimating behaviors, such as abortion, which happens in a particular age-gender group.

METHODS: We recruited 1250 males and 1250 females aged 18 to 50. Abortion rate was calculated through direct question and NSU methodology. The NSU was applied on three sub-samples (male, female and aggregate). Integrating replies to 25 reference groups, we estimated the network size (C) of respondents and its age-gender structure. To calculate the part of network that is subject to abortion, we compared two approaches: proportional and data based. The Visibility Factor (VF) was calculated through 222 females who had abortion. Direct estimate was considered as gold standard.

RESULTS: Using C's derived from proportional method, the Relative Bias (RB) in the male and female samples was 33% and 84%. Applying the data-based C's, the RB in the gender-specific and aggregate samples was 5% and 2%.

CONCLUSION: The proportional method overestimates the prevalence. The data-based method to calculate the C is superior. The determination of the age-sex distribution of the network and the specific VF is essential.


Language: en

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