Correspondence analysis of the Spanish National Health Survey

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Gaceta Sanitaria, ISSN: 0213-9111, Vol: 16, Issue: 2, Page: 160-170

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M. Greenacre
Ediciones Doyma, S.L.
article description
This report gives a comprehensive explanation of the multivariate technique called correspondence analysis, applied in the context of a large survey of a nation's state of health, in this case the Spanish National Health Survey. It is first shown how correspondence analysis can be used to interpret a simple cross-tabulation by visualizing the table in the form of a map of points representing the rows and columns of the table. Combinations of variables can also be interpreted by coding the data in the appropriate way. The technique can also be used to deduce optimal scale values for the levels of a categorical variable, thus giving quantitative meaning to the categories. Multiple correspondence analysis can analyze several categorical variables simultaneously, and is analogous to factor analysis of continuous variables. Other uses of correspondence analysis are illustrated using different variables of the same Spanish database: for example, exploring patterns of missing data and visualizing trends across surveys from consecutive years.