Countrywide estimation of the burden of injuries in Greece: a limited resources approach

J Cancer Epidemiol Prev. 2002;7(3):123-9.


Background: We have assessed the ability of the Emergency Department Injury Surveillance System (EDISS), a registration network operating with limited resources, to predict the burden and pattern of injuries in the whole Greece.

Methods: We have compared hospitalizations calculated on the basis of EDISS with those routinely recorded by the National Statistical Service countrywide. EDISS relies on data collected in the Emergency Departments of four hospitals, two located in the Greater Athens area, and two district hospitals in the remaining Greece. EDISS data concern hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients of all ages, with all types of injuries irrespectively of their etiology or intent.

Results: Over a three-year period 148 835 subjects with injuries were interviewed. Using sampling ratios of 2.2% for all injuries outside Greater Athens and for adults in Greater Athens but 28.9% for childhood injuries, the total annual number of injuries in Greece was estimated at 1.53 million (95% confidence interval: 1.48-1.57 million). Of those, about 18% concern children less than 15 years old. The difference between the EDISS estimated and the actually recorded hospitalized injuries was, in preliminary terms, acceptable.

Discussion: Of the ten major categories of injuries, seven among children and five among adults have shown deviations of less than 20%. For the remaining categories deviations were larger but in only one instance did the difference exceed 50%. It is concluded, that for a small and relatively homogeneous country, like Greece, injury data provided by four large hospitals can generate reasonably reliable estimates for large categories of injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Health Resources
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Statistics as Topic / methods*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality