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st: Reconstructing the distribution from interval data

From   Ronan Conroy <>
To   "statalist hsphsun2. harvard. edu" <>
Subject   st: Reconstructing the distribution from interval data
Date   Wed, 8 Sep 2010 17:25:05 +0100

I'm reviewing a paper in which doctors were asked how many times they had carried out a particular procedure in the last year. The questionnaire used categories, so responses looked like this:

Number of  Gynaecologists Plastic
times                     Surgeons

None           17           3
1-5            24           34
5-10            0           4
10-20           0           1
More than 20    0           1

I am wondering how one might calculate the likeliest underlying annual rate for each group based on the data above.

Has anyone come up against this problem and found a solution? I'd be very curious about the answer for practical reasons - the authors have data that are pretty hard to come by, and being able to calculate an annual rate would be very helpful indeed for future research.

Ronán Conroy
Associate Professor
Division of Population Health Sciences
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Epidemiology Department,
Beaux Lane House, Dublin 2, Ireland
+353 (0)1 402 2431
+353 (0)87 799 97 95
+353 (0)1 402 2764 (Fax - remember them?)

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