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Am J Public Health. 2003 Oct;93(10):1734-9.

Agreement between administrative data and patients' self-reports of race/ethnicity.

Author information

1
Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research (a Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development National Center of Excellence), Bedford VA Medical Center, Bedford, MA 01730, USA. nkressin@bu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined agreement of administrative data with self-reported race/ethnicity and identified correlates of agreement.

METHODS:

We used Veterans Affairs administrative data and VA 1999 Large Health survey race/ethnicity data.

RESULTS:

Relatively low rates of agreement (approximately 60%) between data sources were largely the result of administrative data from patients whose race/ethnicity was unknown, with least agreement for Native American, Asian, and Pacific Islander patients. After exclusion of patients with missing race/ethnicity, agreement improved except for Native Americans. Agreement did not increase substantially after inclusion of data from individuals indicating multiple race/ethnicities. Patients for whom there was better agreement between data sources tended to be less educated, non-solitary living, younger, and White; to have sufficient food; and to use more inpatient Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care.

CONCLUSIONS:

Better reporting of race/ethnicity data will improve agreement between data sources. Previous studies using VA administrative data may have underestimated racial disparities.

PMID:
14534230
PMCID:
PMC1448042
DOI:
10.2105/ajph.93.10.1734
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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