Validity and completeness of the General Practice Research Database for studies of inflammatory bowel disease

Authors

  • James D. Lewis MD, MSCE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    2. Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    3. Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    • University of Pennsylvania, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 9th Floor Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021, USA.
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  • Colleen Brensinger MS,

    1. Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    2. Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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  • Warren B. Bilker PhD,

    1. Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    2. Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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  • Brian L. Strom MD, MPH

    1. Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    2. Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    3. Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    4. Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this study was to evaluate the validity and completeness of the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) as a tool for research into inflammatory bowel disease epidemiology.

Methods

Patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease were identified from GPRD. Mailed surveys were sent to the general practitioner caring for a stratified random sample of 170 of these patients and collected information on the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease and the most recent surgery and hospitalization.

Results

Usable surveys were returned for 157 patients (92%). The inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis was highly probable or probable in 144 (92%, 95% CI 86 to 96%). Among the 53 patients with a potentially incident inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis, 33 (62%) had the first recorded diagnosis in GPRD within 30 days of the date reported in the survey (median difference −8 days; interquartile range 0 to −81days). Of 12 surgeries and 25 hospitalizations reported in the survey, 11 (92%) and 19 (76%) were identified in GPRD, respectively.

Conclusions

The diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease in GPRD appears reliable for most patients. Important medical events such as hospitalizations and surgery are recorded at a high rate, although algorithms to identify these events are complex. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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