Indirect estimates of 'hidden' populations: Capture-recapture methods to estimate the numbers of heroin users in the Australian capital territory

Larson, Ann, Stevens, Adele and Wardlaw, Grant (1994) Indirect estimates of 'hidden' populations: Capture-recapture methods to estimate the numbers of heroin users in the Australian capital territory. Social Science and Medicine, 39 6: 823-831. doi:10.1016/0277-9536(94)90044-2


Author Larson, Ann
Stevens, Adele
Wardlaw, Grant
Title Indirect estimates of 'hidden' populations: Capture-recapture methods to estimate the numbers of heroin users in the Australian capital territory
Journal name Social Science and Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0277-9536
Publication date 1994-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/0277-9536(94)90044-2
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 39
Issue 6
Start page 823
End page 831
Total pages 9
Language eng
Subject 3306 Health (social science)
1207 History and Philosophy of Science
Abstract This paper describes a method of estimating the size of a population based on matching the individuals from the population appearing in two or more nonrandom samples. The method has been developed by population biologists and demographers who have shown that the simple estimates based on only two samples are very sensitive to the assumption that the two samples are independent. This assumption is rarely met with human populations. However, estimates based on three or more samples can be derived by fitting a loglinear model to a 2 contingency table. The method is applied to a data set of heroin users seeking treatment or counselling or arrested on drug charges in 1988 or 1989 in a small Australian city. The method produced a stable estimate of 1250 heroin users. This includes only users who are vulnerable to arrest and/or interested in seeking treatment. Although estimates produced by this method should be validated with other techniques it provides a simple, quick method to estimate the numbers of people in other hidden populations which are difficult to access.
Keyword capture-recapture estimates
Heroin use
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
 
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Created: Fri, 15 Dec 2017, 06:05:59 EST