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Validating estimates of problematic drug use in England.

Frisher M, Heatlie H, Hickman M - BMC Public Health (2007)

Bottom Line: The figures for the IDU estimates were 52% (about right), 44% (too low) and 3% (too high).This is the first UK study to determine the validity estimates of problematic and injecting drug misuse.The results of this paper highlight the need to consider criterion and face validity when evaluating estimates of the number of drug users.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Medicines Management, School of Pharmacy, Keele University, ST5 5BG, UK. m.frisher@keele.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Background: UK Government expenditure on combatting drug abuse is based on estimates of illicit drug users, yet the validity of these estimates is unknown. This study aims to assess the face validity of problematic drug use (PDU) and injecting drug use (IDU) estimates for all English Drug Action Teams (DATs) in 2001. The estimates were derived from a statistical model using the Multiple Indicator Method (MIM).

Methods: Questionnaire study, in which the 149 English Drug Action Teams were asked to evaluate the MIM estimates for their DAT.

Results: The response rate was 60% and there were no indications of selection bias. Of responding DATs, 64% thought the PDU estimates were about right or did not dispute them, while 27% had estimates that were too low and 9% were too high. The figures for the IDU estimates were 52% (about right), 44% (too low) and 3% (too high).

Conclusion: This is the first UK study to determine the validity estimates of problematic and injecting drug misuse. The results of this paper highlight the need to consider criterion and face validity when evaluating estimates of the number of drug users.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Drug Action Teams' own PDU estimates (Y axis) and the Multiple Indicator Method-Problematic Drug Use (MIM PDU) estimate (X axis).
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Figure 2: Drug Action Teams' own PDU estimates (Y axis) and the Multiple Indicator Method-Problematic Drug Use (MIM PDU) estimate (X axis).

Mentions: Figure 2 shows that where DATs had PDU estimates of their own, they tended to be higher than their corresponding MIM estimates. However, it should be noted that the basis of these estimates require careful evaluation (e.g. methodology, target population, time period). In many cases DATs' own estimates may not be directly comparable with the MIM estimates.


Validating estimates of problematic drug use in England.

Frisher M, Heatlie H, Hickman M - BMC Public Health (2007)

Drug Action Teams' own PDU estimates (Y axis) and the Multiple Indicator Method-Problematic Drug Use (MIM PDU) estimate (X axis).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2147026&req=5

Figure 2: Drug Action Teams' own PDU estimates (Y axis) and the Multiple Indicator Method-Problematic Drug Use (MIM PDU) estimate (X axis).
Mentions: Figure 2 shows that where DATs had PDU estimates of their own, they tended to be higher than their corresponding MIM estimates. However, it should be noted that the basis of these estimates require careful evaluation (e.g. methodology, target population, time period). In many cases DATs' own estimates may not be directly comparable with the MIM estimates.

Bottom Line: The figures for the IDU estimates were 52% (about right), 44% (too low) and 3% (too high).This is the first UK study to determine the validity estimates of problematic and injecting drug misuse.The results of this paper highlight the need to consider criterion and face validity when evaluating estimates of the number of drug users.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Medicines Management, School of Pharmacy, Keele University, ST5 5BG, UK. m.frisher@keele.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Background: UK Government expenditure on combatting drug abuse is based on estimates of illicit drug users, yet the validity of these estimates is unknown. This study aims to assess the face validity of problematic drug use (PDU) and injecting drug use (IDU) estimates for all English Drug Action Teams (DATs) in 2001. The estimates were derived from a statistical model using the Multiple Indicator Method (MIM).

Methods: Questionnaire study, in which the 149 English Drug Action Teams were asked to evaluate the MIM estimates for their DAT.

Results: The response rate was 60% and there were no indications of selection bias. Of responding DATs, 64% thought the PDU estimates were about right or did not dispute them, while 27% had estimates that were too low and 9% were too high. The figures for the IDU estimates were 52% (about right), 44% (too low) and 3% (too high).

Conclusion: This is the first UK study to determine the validity estimates of problematic and injecting drug misuse. The results of this paper highlight the need to consider criterion and face validity when evaluating estimates of the number of drug users.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus