Bolton, MA, USA – The use of secondary data sources is growing in oncology health services research. Identifying patients with cancer from these data can be difficult due to the lack of clinical detail in secondary data. As a result, researchers develop algorithms or groups of codes to identify specific groups of cancer patients in secondary data. Therefore, researchers must critically evaluate whether published algorithms are suitable for their studies or develop and defend their own algorithm.
The ISPOR Oncology Good Outcomes Research Practices Working Group reviewed articles using secondary data to study cancer populations. Findings from the review were used to develop a checklist for identifying potential methodological and reporting issues using secondary data. This checklist will assist decision makers and reviewers to evaluate the quality of studies using secondary data and provide guidance for researchers working with secondary data.
Kathy L. Schulman, MA, Principal at Outcomes Research Solutions and first author of the study comments, “Secondary data are critical in oncology health services research. We hope this checklist will facilitate the standardization of reporting and reviewing of future publications.”
The full study, “A Checklist for Ascertaining Study Cohorts in Oncology Health Services Research Using Secondary Data: Report of the ISPOR Oncology Good Outcomes Research Practices Working Group,” is published in Value in Health.
Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision makers, and researchers worldwide).
International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.
For more information: www.ispor.org