Prospective Community Studies in Developing Countries: A Survey of Surveys
MICHEL GARENNE AND EMILIA KOUMANS
This book presents in detail ten classic prospective community studies, some more oriented towards public health and family planning, others more oriented towards demography. However, this is only a sample of all the similar endeavours that have been conducted in the world since the 1930s. In this appendix, we present the results of a systematic search on prospective community studies.
This 'survey of surveys' started by a search in Medline and Popline, two computerized bibliographic databases, the first being more medical, the second more demographic. A first set of seventy-two studies was identified. A questionnaire was sent to the principal investigators of the studies when possible. The questionnaire included details on the location, the investigators, the duration and size, the sampling, the demographic surveillance, the epidemiological surveillance the topics studied, the computer system, the human resources, the sources of funding, and the major publications. This questionnaire was supplemented with readings from the studies.
From this first set, we disregarded the studies that did not qualify as 'prospective community studies'. In particular, we excluded the very 'cohort studies', familiar to epidemiologists, which do not include the total population but only a sample of either young children or adults who are followed over time for a specific study (physical growth, cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc.). We also excluded the more 'anthropological studies' based on very small samples, such as village studies. We also excluded the pure 'demographic studies', such as the multi-round surveys, because their focus is more narrow and they are usually conducted on short periods of time (two to four years) and are rarely geographically defined. Last, we excluded the studies for which too little information was available.