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Aliakbar Haghdoost 1 Article
A review of methods to estimate the visibility factor for bias correction in network scale-up studies
Aliakbar Haghdoost, Milad Ahmadi Gohari, Ali Mirzazadeh, Farzaneh Zolala, Mohammad Reza Baneshi
Epidemiol Health. 2018;40:e2018041.   Published online August 16, 2018
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Network scale-up is an indirect size estimation method, in which participants are questioned on sensitive behaviors of their social network members. Therefore, the visibility of the behavior affects the replies and estimates. Many attempts to estimate visibility have been made. The aims of this study were to review the main methods used to address visibility and to provide a summary of reported visibility factors (VFs) across populations. We systematically searched relevant databases and Google. In total, 15 studies and reports that calculated VFs were found. VF calculation studies have been applied in 9 countries, mostly in East Asia and Eastern Europe. The methods applied were expert opinion, comparison of NSU with another method, the game of contacts, social respect, and the coming-out rate. The VF has been calculated for heavy drug users, people who inject drugs (PWID), female sex workers (FSWs) and their clients, male who have sex with male (MSM), alcohol and methamphetamine users, and those who have experienced extra-/pre-marital sex and abortion. The VF varied from 1.4% in Japan to 52.0% in China for MSM; from 34.0% in Ukraine to 111.0% in China for FSWs; and from 12.0% among Iranian students to 57.0% in Ukraine for PWID. Our review revealed that VF estimates were heterogeneous, and were not available for most settings, in particular the Middle East and North Africa region, except Iran. More concrete methodologies to estimate the VF are required.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
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  • Thirty Years of The Network Scale-up Method
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