Methodological issues in using prescription and other databases in pharmacoepidemiology

Henrik Toft Sørensen, Søren Paaske Johnsen, Bente Nørgård
2009 Norsk Epidemiologi  
<strong><span style="font-family: TimesNewRomanPS-BoldMT;"><span style="font-family: TimesNewRomanPS-BoldMT;"><p align="left"> </p></span></span><p align="left"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: TimesNewRomanPS-BoldMT;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: TimesNewRomanPS-BoldMT;">ABSTRACT</span></span></p></strong><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;"><p align="left">Development
more » ... left">Development in technology has led to a considerable increase in the number of individual-based registers</p><p align="left">and databases, that may be of value in pharmacoepidemiological research, and the number of studies that</p><p align="left">are based on these secondary data may be expected to increase. The focus of this paper is to review methodological</p><p align="left">problems related to use of such databases in pharmacoepidemiological studies with respect to the</p><p align="left">four basic types of associations which can be observed in an observational study: 1) bias, 2) confounding,</p><p align="left">3) chance or 4) causal. The following factors will affect the value and validity of registries and databases:</p><p align="left">1) the completeness of registration of persons, 2) the validity and degree of completeness of the registered</p><p align="left">data, 3) the size of the data source, 4) the registration period, 5) data accessibility, availability, and costs, 6)</p><p align="left">data format, and 7) the possibilities of linkage with other data sources. The importance of these issues</p><p align="left">depends on the use of the data and on the problems they have to address. The Nordic countries have a</p><p align="left">unique possibility of record-linkage between registries because of the civil registry number assigned to</p><p align="left">every citizen at birth. In pharmacoepidemiological research this gives us the opportunity to study different</p><p align="left">outcome events in relation to drug use, and this has been extensively used in the Danish pharmacoepidemiological</p><p align="left">approach. The Nordic countries could play a leading role in future pharmacoepidemiological</p><p align="left">research. This, however, requires considerably more efficient and comprehensive use of the collected data</p><p>on which the society has spent many resources for other purposes.</p></span></span>
doi:10.5324/nje.v11i1.528 fatcat:4ca3me6j6nb6zd4xl2zphray3y