Spatial Analysis in Health Research

  • Wim Douven
  • Henk J. Scholten
Part of the The GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 24)


The geographical approach towards the examination of diseases, or spatial health research, primarily focuses on the mapping of diseases and the correlation of spatial distributions by comparing two or more variables. The purpose is to disclose possible spatially determined aspects of disease etiology or even to help in defining hypotheses to be tested in comprehensive epidemiological research. In particular, exploratory spatial analysis could provide valuable instruments for spatial health research, given the fact that disease data are available but that models representing the real world are largely absent. These tools can help solving health research questions from a geographical perspective such as: “What is the spatial distribution of the disease under consideration?”, “Can we detect patterns?” and “What are the possible coincidences with disease-causing factors?”. In this chapter an attempt will be made to provide an overview of some useful analytical techniques in the context of health research.


Geographical Information System Geographical Information System Spatial Autocorrelation Spatial Analysis Spatial Object 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wim Douven
    • 1
  • Henk J. Scholten
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Regional EconomicsFree University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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