Capture-recapture as a tool for programme evaluation

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6932.859 (Published 26 March 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:859
  1. Charlotte Watts,
  2. Anthony Zwi,
  3. David Wilson,
  4. Simon Mashababe,
  5. Geoff Foster
  1. Health Policy Unit, Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT
  2. Department of Psychology, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe Mutare HIV Prevention Programme, Mutare, Zimbabwe.

    Editor,--The capture-recapture technique described by Ronald LaPorte1 may be particularly useful in studying marginalised or inaccessible groups to assess the size and characteristics of the target population and the proportion in contact with services. For example, Fisher et al used a capture-recapture analysis of individual patterns of contact with homeless agencies in north east West-minster to estimate the total number of homeless people.2 They also used the data to determine use of services and concluded that, during …

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