TITLE

Heuristic Algorithms for Assigning Hispanic Ethnicity

AUTHOR(S)
Boscoe, Francis P.; Schymura, Maria J.; Zhang, Xiuling; Kramer, Rachel A.
PUB. DATE
February 2013
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
We compared several techniques for assigning Hispanic ethnicity to records in data systems where this information may be missing, variously making use of country of origin, surname, race, and county of residence. We considered an algorithm in use by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), a variation of this developed by the authors, a “fast and frugal” algorithm developed with the aid of recursive partitioning methods, and conventional logistic regression. With the exception of logistic regression, each approach was rule-based: if specific criteria were met, an ethnicity assignment was made; otherwise, the next criterion was considered, until all records were assigned. We evaluated the algorithms on a sample of over 500,000 female clients from the New York State Cancer Services Program for whom self-reported Hispanic ethnicity was known. We found that all approaches yielded similarly high accuracy, sensitivity, and positive predictive value in all parts of the state, from areas with very low to very high Hispanic populations. An advantage of the fast and frugal method is that it consists of a small number of easily remembered steps.
ACCESSION #
87623925

 

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