Spatial scan statistics with overdispersion.

Summary of "Spatial scan statistics with overdispersion."

The spatial scan statistic has been widely used in spatial disease surveillance and spatial cluster detection for more than a decade. However, overdispersion often presents in real-world data, causing not only violation of the Poisson assumption but also excessive type I errors or false alarms. In order to account for overdispersion, we extend the Poisson-based spatial scan test to a quasi-Poisson-based test. The simulation shows that the proposed method can substantially reduce type I error probabilities in the presence of overdispersion. In a case study of infant mortality in Jiangxi, China, both tests detect a cluster; however, a secondary cluster is identified by only the Poisson-based test. It is recommended that a cluster detected by the Poisson-based scan test should be interpreted with caution when it is not confirmed by the quasi-Poisson-based test. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Department of Statistics, Purdue University, 250 North UniversityStreet, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2066, USA.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Statistics in medicine
ISSN: 1097-0258
Pages: 762-74


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