A systematic review of spatial decision support systems in public health informatics supporting the identification of high risk areas for zoonotic disease outbreaks

Posted on 2018-10-30 - 05:00
Abstract Background Zoonotic diseases account for a substantial portion of infectious disease outbreaks and burden on public health programs to maintain surveillance and preventative measures. Taking advantage of new modeling approaches and data sources have become necessary in an interconnected global community. To facilitate data collection, analysis, and decision-making, the number of spatial decision support systems reported in the last 10 years has increased. This systematic review aims to describe characteristics of spatial decision support systems developed to assist public health officials in the management of zoonotic disease outbreaks. Methods A systematic search of the Google Scholar database was undertaken for published articles written between 2008 and 2018, with no language restriction. A manual search of titles and abstracts using Boolean logic and keyword search terms was undertaken using predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data extraction included items such as spatial database management, visualizations, and report generation. Results For this review we screened 34 full text articles. Design and reporting quality were assessed, resulting in a final set of 12 articles which were evaluated on proposed interventions and identifying characteristics were described. Multisource data integration, and user centered design were inconsistently applied, though indicated diverse utilization of modeling techniques. Conclusions The characteristics, data sources, development and modeling techniques implemented in the design of recent SDSS that target zoonotic disease outbreak were described. There are still many challenges to address during the design process to effectively utilize the value of emerging data sources and modeling methods. In the future, development should adhere to comparable standards for functionality and system development such as user input for system requirements, and flexible interfaces to visualize data that exist on different scales. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018110466.


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