Data Suppression Strategies Used During Surveillance Data Release by Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention Programs

Philip Christopher Delcher, Kristine T. Edwards, Jeffrey Allen Stover, Lori Marie Newman, Samuel L. Groseclose, Diane M. Rajnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives This study investigates the data suppression or statistical disclosure limitation (DL) practices used during surveillance data Release by sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention programs. Methods We classified DL strategies from a Web-based data query system that collected data from state health departments. We tested mean STD incidence Rates in states that used data suppression versus those that did not. Results Five types of DL were identified: no suppression (n = 15), numerator-only (n = 10), denominator-only (n = 6), demographic-only (n = 7), and mixed strategies (n = 12). Twenty-two states (62%) used data suppression strategies differently through time. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis Rates were higher in the nonsuppression states than those of the suppression states (P =. 03, P =. 008, P =. 009, Respectively). Conclusions Cell suppression is the preferred method of DL used by STD prevention programs. More Research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy as a means of balancing the public health utility of the data tables and the protection of confidentiality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1-E8
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Confidentiality
  • Disclosure limitation
  • Surveillance data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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