UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Epidemiology | Health Policy | Infectious Disease | Public Health | Virus Diseases


As people around the world experience a devastating pandemic, it is critical that policy-makers consider the methodological and measurement issues that might be associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health indicators. This commentary uses four primary variables to illustrate measurement and methodological issues that can complicate comparisons between jurisdictions. Jurisdiction refers to a variety of geographic areas, such as a country, a state, or a province/territory. These variables play a critical role in determining how we understand the trajectory of disease spread. These variables also contribute to our understanding of prevention strategies and their associated efficacy, reflecting the impact of COVID-19 on hospitals. It is critical for public health stakeholders and the public to recognize that these four simple variables can vary substantially across jurisdictions.


coronavirus, covid-19, indicators, measurement, public health, public policy

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

DOI of Published Version



Ladouceur R, Shaffer H, Shaffer P, Baillargeon L. A warning about measurement and methodological issues associated with coronavirus tracking and evaluation across jurisdictions. Can Commun Dis Rep. 2021 Jul 8;47(7-8):297-299. doi: 10.14745/ccdr.v47i78a01. PMID: 34421384; PMCID: PMC8340671. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Canada communicable disease report = Releve des maladies transmissibles au Canada

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.