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Validation Of Cancer Diagnoses In Electronic Health Records: Results From The Information System For Research In Primary Care (SIDIAP) In Northeast Spain

Authors Recalde M, Manzano-Salgado CB, Díaz Y, Puente D, Garcia-Gil MDM, Marcos-Gragera R, Ribes-Puig J, Galceran J, Posso M, Macià F, Duarte-Salles T

Received 31 July 2019

Accepted for publication 30 October 2019

Published 3 December 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 1015—1024


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen

Martina Recalde,1,2,* Cyntia B Manzano-Salgado,1,2,* Yesika Díaz,1 Diana Puente,1,2 Maria Del Mar Garcia-Gil,1 Rafael Marcos-Gragera,3,4 Josefa Ribes-Puig,5,6 Jaume Galceran,7 Margarita Posso,8 Francesc Macià,8 Talita Duarte-Salles1

1Fundació Institut Universitari per a la Recerca a l’Atenció Primària de Salut Jordi Gol i Gurina (IDIAPJGoL), Barcelona, Spain; 2Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès), Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain; 3Unitat d’Epidemiologia i Registre de Càncer de Girona (UERCG), Pla Director d’Oncologia, Institut Català d’Oncologia, Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Girona (IdIBGi), Universitat De Girona, Girona, Spain; 4CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain; 5Catalan Cancer Plan, Department of Health of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain; 6Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Barcelona (UB), Barcelona, Spain; 7Registre de Càncer de Tarragona, Fundació per a la Investigació i Prevenció del Càncer (FUNCA), IISPV, Reus, Spain; 8Cancer Prevention Unit and Cancer Registry, Department of Epidemiology and Evaluation, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Talita Duarte-Salles
Fundació Institut Universitari per a la Recerca a l’Atenció Primària de Salut Jordi Gol i Gurina (IDIAPJGoL) Gran Via Corts Catalanes, 587 Àtic, Barcelona 08007, Spain
Tel +34 93 482 43 42

Background: Electronic health records are becoming an increasingly valuable resource for epidemiology but their data quality needs to be quantified. We aimed to validate twenty-five types of incident cancer cases in the Information System for Research in Primary Care (SIDIAP) in Catalonia with the population-based cancer registries of Girona and Tarragona as the gold-standard.
Methods: We calculated the sensitivity, positive predictive values (PPV), and the time-difference between the date of diagnosis entered into the SIDIAP and into the registries. We added hospital discharge cancer diagnoses to the SIDIAP to assess sensitivity changes.
Results: We identified 27,046 incident cancer diagnoses in the SIDIAP from 2009–2015 among the 949,841 residents of Girona and Tarragona. The cancer types with the highest sensitivity were breast (89%, 95% CI: 88–90%), colorectal (81%, 95% CI: 80–82%), and prostate (81%, 95% CI: 80–83%). Trachea, bronchus and lung cancers had the highest PPV (76%, 95% CI: 74%-78%) followed by stomach (72%, 95% CI: 68–75%) and pancreas (71%, 95% CI: 67–75%). Most cancer diagnoses were reported with less than three months of difference between the SIDIAP and the registries. More cases were registered first in the registries than in the SIDIAP. By adding cancer diagnoses based on hospital discharge data, sensitivity increased for all cancers, especially for gallbladder and biliary tract for which the sensitivity increased by 21%.
Conclusion: The SIDIAP includes 76% of the cancer diagnoses in the cancer registries but includes a considerable number of cases that are not in the registries. The SIDIAP reports most of the cancer diagnoses within a three-month period difference from the date of diagnosis in the cancer registries. Our results support the use of the SIDIAP cancer diagnoses for epidemiological research when cancer is the outcome of interest. We recommend adding hospital discharge data to the SIDIAP to increase data quality, particularly for less frequent cancer types.

Keywords: validation studies, cancer, electronic health records, primary health care, population-based cancer registries

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