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Scaling up health knowledge at European level requires sharing integrated data: an approach for collection of database specification

Authors Menditto E, Bolufer De Gea A, Cahir C, Marengoni A, Riegler S, Fico G, Costa E, Monaco A, Pecorelli S, Pani L, Prados-Torres A

Received 2 October 2015

Accepted for publication 8 January 2016

Published 13 June 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 253—265


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Michael Liebman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Giorgio Lorenzo Colombo

Enrica Menditto,1 Angela Bolufer De Gea,2 Caitriona Cahir,3,4 Alessandra Marengoni,5 Salvatore Riegler,1 Giuseppe Fico,6 Elisio Costa,7 Alessandro Monaco,8 Sergio Pecorelli,5 Luca Pani,8 Alexandra Prados-Torres9

1School of Pharmacy, CIRFF/Center of Pharmacoeconomics, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy; 2Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium; 3Division of Population Health Sciences, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 4Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, St James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; 5Department of Clinical and Experimental Science, University of Brescia, Brescia; 6Life Supporting Technologies, Photonics Technology and Bioengineering Department, School of Telecomunications Engineering, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain; 7Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; 8Italian Medicines Agency – AIFA, Rome, Italy; 9EpiChron Research Group on Chronic Diseases, Aragón Health Sciences Institute (IACS), IIS Aragón REDISSEC ISCIII, Miguel Servet University Hospital, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain

Computerized health care databases have been widely described as an excellent opportunity for research. The availability of “big data” has brought about a wave of innovation in projects when conducting health services research. Most of the available secondary data sources are restricted to the geographical scope of a given country and present heterogeneous structure and content. Under the umbrella of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, collaborative work conducted by the partners of the group on “adherence to prescription and medical plans” identified the use of observational and large-population databases to monitor medication-taking behavior in the elderly. This article describes the methodology used to gather the information from available databases among the Adherence Action Group partners with the aim of improving data sharing on a European level. A total of six databases belonging to three different European countries (Spain, Republic of Ireland, and Italy) were included in the analysis. Preliminary results suggest that there are some similarities. However, these results should be applied in different contexts and European countries, supporting the idea that large European studies should be designed in order to get the most of already available databases.

Keywords: health care databases, adherence, electronic health records, outcome research

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