Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


This preconference course will introduce METRIC to the cancer research, control and surveillance community.

Registration is open:
Sunday, June 9, 2019

8:30 am – 5:30 pm

BioMedware, in collaboration with NAACCR, esri, Urban Design for Health, and TechEd, recently completed software and resources for measurement and modeling of the cancer health environment. Funded by a contract from the National Cancer Institute, METRIC was developed in recognition that environmental and public health policy interventions can reduce the burden of chronic disease by encouraging healthy behaviors.

Using the framework proposed by Diez Roux and Mair (2012) health inequities can be addressed through neighborhood-level prevention strategies. Implementation of this framework requires environmental health metrics that describe the built environment, food environment, health care access environment, as well as exposures to carcinogens. There are a number of established composite metrics describing the built environment (e.g., walkability scores and sprawl/population density indices), the food environment (e.g., proximity scores to food outlets or retail food indices), and health care access environment (e.g., density of services or travel time to nearest facility). Additionally, there are numerous geographically-based metrics that are relevant to research in health disparities and chronic disease prevention, but they are not often used across disciplines or in public health. And for many research questions, appropriate metrics have yet to be developed. METRIC addresses these needs.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the rationale, underlying theory, and implications of environmental cancer metrics for cancer research, prevention and control.
  • Be able to access and use the METRIC software as well as data already available in METRIC, including data layers from esri, Urban Design for Health, and public resources.
  • Know how to specify and calculate cancer metrics, including access via double catchment techniques, residential proximity, and travel times.
  • Create new environmental metrics using the metric editor.
  • Assess associations between environmental metrics and outcomes such as cancer rates using visualization and exploratory data analysis (e.g., histogram, scatterplot).
  • Rank results to identify geographic disparities and assess the impact of metrics definition (e.g., weights of components) on the relationship with health outcomes.

Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops to step through the exercises. Access to METRIC 1.0 will be provided to registered course participants who have internet access.

Content for each of the Presentation Objectives listed above will be covered, providing a comprehensive introduction to the METRIC software.

Course Organizer(s)

Geoffrey M. Jacquez, PhD, Pierre E Goovaerts, PhD