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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 105, Issue 6, pp e453–e455 | Cite as

Canada Post community mailboxes: Implications for health research

  • Daniel FullerEmail author
  • Martine Shareck
Commentary
  • 3 Downloads

Abstract

This article discusses the implications for health research of Canada Post’s transition from door-to-door postal delivery to community mailboxes. We argue that using postal code data to geocode participants based on community mailboxes will result in positional and linkage errors. Positional errors involve misplacing people’s residential location. Linkage errors result from incorrectly linking residential location from community mailboxes to census or health administrative data. The article discusses examples of how the transition to community mailboxes could have important implications for health research. We encourage research examining the extent of positional and linkage errors on the 11 pilot communities transitioning to community mailboxes in the fall of 2014.

Key Words

Geography data collection health epidemiology 

Résumé

Notre article porte sur les conséquences, pour la recherche sur la santé, de la transition de Postes Canada de la livraison du courrier de porte en porte au service de boîtes postales communautaires. Nous faisons valoir que l’utilisation du code postal pour géocoder les participants selon leur boîte postale communautaire entraînera des erreurs de position et de liaison. Les erreurs de position consistent à mal classer les gens selon leur lieu de résidence. Les erreurs de liaison résultent de la liaison incorrecte du lieu de résidence selon la boîte postale communautaire aux données du Recensement ou aux données administratives sur la santé. Nous présentons des exemples qui montrent que le passage au service de boîtes postales communautaires pourrait avoir de lourdes conséquences pour la recherche sur la santé. Nous encourageons les chercheurs à examiner l’étendue des erreurs de position et de liaison pour les 11 communautés pilotes qui sont passées aux boîtes postales communautaires à l’automne 2014.

Mots Clés

géographie collecte de données santé épidémiologie 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Health & EpidemiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Département de Médecine Sociale et PréventiveUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada

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