WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health

Brussels, Belgium

WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health

Brussels, Belgium
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Antoine J.,WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health | De Ridder K.,WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health | Plettinckx E.,WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health | Blanckaert P.,WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health | Gremeaux L.,WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health
Archives of Public Health | Year: 2016

Background: Registration of patients with substance use disorders is of key importance to get insights and to study trends in patients characteristics and substance use patterns. The Treatment Demand Indicator (TDI) is gathering this information at European level since 2000. In Belgium, this registration started at national level in 2011 and an increasing number of facilities of different types are participating in this data collection since then. Methods/Design: This surveillance register collects information on every treatment episode started by patients for their substance use disorder. Information is collected on socio-demographic characteristics of the patient, treatment history and substance use patterns. Patients are identified uniquely using their national identification number in order identify multiple episodes followed by a same person. A large range of treatment facilities have the possibility to participate in this registration to allow a wide coverage of the population. Discussion: The objective of the paper is to facilitate the use of data by authorities or researchers by correctly describing all aspects of the indicator. The case definition, the variables collected and the way data should be reported are of key importance to use and interpret the data correctly. An overview of the data registered in 2014 gives also an idea of the content of the database. The article also pictures the strengths and limitations of the register and foresees some future improvements. © 2016 The Author(s).


Berger N.,WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health | Berger N.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Muyldermans G.,WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health | Dupont Y.,WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health | Quoilin S.,WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health
Archives of Public Health | Year: 2016

Background: The Belgian Sentinel Network of Laboratories (SNL) was created in 1983 in order to monitor trends in infectious diseases. Given the evolution of the surveillance system, such as the waivers, fusions and adhesions of laboratories over time, it is important to evaluate whether the SNL is still fit for purpose. This study aims to evaluate aspects of the sensitivity and representativeness of the SNL by means of a test coverage analysis. Methods: We estimated test coverage of the SNL using the ratio of reimbursed tests performed by participating laboratories to the total number of tests performed between 2007 and 2012, for 12 (groups of) pathogens. We further evaluated the geographical difference coverage of the SNL at regional and provincial levels. Results: We found that test coverage of the SNL was stable over time and close to, or greater than, 50 % for the 12 (groups of) pathogens studied. These results hold for the three regions of Belgium but not for all provinces. We showed that some provinces had a low test coverage for some pathogens and that test coverage was more variable over time at provincial level. Conclusions: This sensitivity and representativeness study based on test coverage suggests that the SNL is capable to describe trend and to monitor changes in the 12 (groups of) pathogens studied both at national and regional levels. Therefore, the SNL is useful to contribute to estimate the burden of disease and to inform preventive measures. It should however be reinforced to allow to be used as an alert system at provincial level. © 2016 The Author(s).


PubMed | London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and WIV ISP Scientific Institute of Public Health
Type: | Journal: Archives of public health = Archives belges de sante publique | Year: 2016

The Belgian Sentinel Network of Laboratories (SNL) was created in 1983 in order to monitor trends in infectious diseases. Given the evolution of the surveillance system, such as the waivers, fusions and adhesions of laboratories over time, it is important to evaluate whether the SNL is still fit for purpose. This study aims to evaluate aspects of the sensitivity and representativeness of the SNL by means of a test coverage analysis.We estimated test coverage of the SNL using the ratio of reimbursed tests performed by participating laboratories to the total number of tests performed between 2007 and 2012, for 12 (groups of) pathogens. We further evaluated the geographical difference coverage of the SNL at regional and provincial levels.We found that test coverage of the SNL was stable over time and close to, or greater than, 50% for the 12 (groups of) pathogens studied. These results hold for the three regions of Belgium but not for all provinces. We showed that some provinces had a low test coverage for some pathogens and that test coverage was more variable over time at provincial level.This sensitivity and representativeness study based on test coverage suggests that the SNL is capable to describe trend and to monitor changes in the 12 (groups of) pathogens studied both at national and regional levels. Therefore, the SNL is useful to contribute to estimate the burden of disease and to inform preventive measures. It should however be reinforced to allow to be used as an alert system at provincial level.

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