Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch

Representativeness of a Surveillance System

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_2998


In order to generalize findings from surveillance to the target population at large, the data from a surveillance system should reflect the population characteristics related to time, place, and person. Representativeness is assessed by comparing the characteristics of health events detected through a surveillance system with those of all such health events in the target population. A lack of representativeness may lead to misallocation of health resources .

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© Springer-Verlag 2008