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In Journal of translational medicine

BACKGROUND : An important task in developing accurate public health intervention evaluation methods based on historical interrupted time series (ITS) records is to determine the exact lag time between pre- and post-intervention. We propose a novel continuous transitional data-driven hybrid methodology using a non-linear approach based on a combination of stochastic and artificial intelligence methods that facilitate the evaluation of ITS data without knowledge of lag time. Understanding the influence of implemented intervention on outcome(s) is imperative for decision makers in order to manage health systems accurately and in a timely manner.

METHODS : To validate a developed hybrid model, we used, as an example, a published dataset based on a real health problem on the effects of the Italian smoking ban in public spaces on hospital admissions for acute coronary events. We employed a continuous methodology based on data preprocessing to identify linear and nonlinear components in which autoregressive moving average and generalized structure group method of data handling were combined to model stochastic and nonlinear components of ITS. We analyzed the rate of admission for acute coronary events from January 2002 to November 2006 using this new data-driven hybrid methodology that allowed for long-term outcome prediction.

RESULTS : Our results showed the Pearson correlation coefficient of the proposed combined transitional data-driven model exhibited an average of 17.74% enhancement from the single stochastic model and 2.05% from the nonlinear model. In addition, data demonstrated that the developed model improved the mean absolute percentage error and correlation coefficient values for which 2.77% and 0.89 were found compared to 4.02% and 0.76, respectively. Importantly, this model does not use any predefined lag time between pre- and post-intervention.

CONCLUSIONS : Most of the previous studies employed the linear regression and considered a lag time to interpret the impact of intervention on public health outcome. The proposed hybrid methodology improved ITS prediction from conventional methods and could be used as a reliable alternative in public health intervention evaluation.

Bonakdari Hossein, Pelletier Jean-Pierre, Martel-Pelletier Johanne


Computer simulation, Data processing, Hybrid model, Interrupted time series, Lag time, Nonlinear, Public health, Transitional model