Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2006 May 31;6:23.

A review of randomized controlled trials comparing the effectiveness of hand held computers with paper methods for data collection.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Handheld computers are increasingly favoured over paper and pencil methods to capture data in clinical research.

METHODS:

This study systematically identified and reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared the two methods for self-recording and reporting data, and where at least one of the following outcomes was assessed: data accuracy; timeliness of data capture; and adherence to protocols for data collection.

RESULTS:

A comprehensive key word search of NLM Gateway's database yielded 9 studies fitting the criteria for inclusion. Data extraction was performed and checked by two of the authors. None of the studies included all outcomes. The results overall, favor handheld computers over paper and pencil for data collection among study participants but the data are not uniform for the different outcomes. Handheld computers appear superior in timeliness of receipt and data handling (four of four studies) and are preferred by most subjects (three of four studies). On the other hand, only one of the trials adequately compared adherence to instructions for recording and submission of data (handheld computers were superior), and comparisons of accuracy were inconsistent between five studies.

CONCLUSION:

Handhelds are an effective alternative to paper and pencil modes of data collection; they are faster and were preferred by most users.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk