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Portuguese Journal of Public Health

Print version ISSN 2504-3137On-line version ISSN 2504-3145


MORAISA, Liliane; LOPES, António; ROCHA, Jorge  and  NOGUEIRA, Paulo Jorge. Beyond Usual Geographical Scales of Analysis: Implications for Healthcare Management and Urban Planning. Port J Public Health [online]. 2022, vol.40, n.3, pp.140-154.  Epub Dec 31, 2022. ISSN 2504-3137.


In the context of climate emergency, advances in geographic information systems, geocoding, and geomedicine allow us to go beyond the conventional usual scales and be aligned with people’s needs, improving knowledge and accuracy of the spatial pattern of health outcomes. This study shows that the geographical scale of analysis affects the interpretation of health outcomes.


All mortality that occurred in Portugal in 2014-2017 was geocoded. From 435,291 addresses, 412,608 were geocoded with success. As an example, we use the spatial patterns of the elderly’s heat-related cardiorespiratory mortality.


It is shown: (i) it is possible to have high quality and accuracy of spatial data used in health outcomes analysis; (ii) how geographic scales reveal different degrees of detail in health outcomes analysis; (iii) the neighbourhood scale revealed different patterns of cardiorespiratory mortality from the usually available scale (parish).


Our findings suggest the relevance of geocoding health outcomes with a finer scale in tackling the challenges of the healthcare sector, and in support of planning decision-making, closely matching citizens’ needs. Without running the risk of losing potentially major prospects, better healthcare management is achievable, with optimal resource allocation, and improved detailed and informed policymaking, allowing enhanced climate health equity in cities promotion.

Keywords : Public health; Healthcare management; Policymakers awareness; Geographic scales; Cardiorespiratory mortality.

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