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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686


MYATT, Mark; LIMBURG, Hans; MINASSIAN, Darwin  and  KATYOLA, Damson. Field trial of applicability of lot quality assurance sampling survey method for rapid assessment of prevalence of active trachoma. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2003, vol.81, n.12, pp.877-885. ISSN 0042-9686.

OBJECTIVE: To test the applicability of lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) for the rapid assessment of the prevalence of active trachoma. METHODS: Prevalence of active trachoma in six communities was found by examining all children aged 2-5 years. Trial surveys were conducted in these communities. A sampling plan appropriate for classifying communities with prevalences <20% and >40% was applied to the survey data. Operating characteristic and average sample number curves were plotted, and screening test indices were calculated. The ability of LQAS to provide a three-class classification system was investigated. FINDINGS: Ninety-six trial surveys were conducted. All communities with prevalences <20% and >40% were identified correctly. The method discriminated between communities with prevalences <30% and >30%, with sensitivity of 98% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 88.2-99.9%), specificity of 84.4% (CI = 69.9-93.0%), positive predictive value of 87.7% (CI = 75.7-94.5%), negative predictive value of 97.4% (CI = 84.9-99.9%), and accuracy of 91.7% (CI = 83.8-96.1%). Agreement between the three prevalence classes and survey classifications was 84.4% (CI = 75.2-90.7%). The time needed to complete the surveys was consistent with the need to complete a survey in one day. CONCLUSION: Lot quality assurance sampling provides a method of classifying communities according to the prevalence of active trachoma. It merits serious consideration as a replacement for the assessment of the prevalence of active trachoma with the currently used trachoma rapid assessment method. It may be extended to provide a multi-class classification method.

Keywords : Trachoma [epidemiology]; Prevalence; Quality assurance; Health care; Sampling studies; Validation studies; Health surveys; Cnfidence intervals; Sensitivity and specificity; Predictive value of tests; Malawi.

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