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Scand J Prim Health Care. 1998 Mar;16(1):50-5.

The reliability and validity of doctor-recorded morbidity data in active data collection systems.

Author information

1
Department of General Practice, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To test the reliability and validity of morbidity data recorded by general practitioners (family physicians) on structured recording forms in active data collection systems.

DESIGN:

The consulting general practitioner recorded the problems managed at 347 video-taped doctor-patient contacts. Two observers independently viewed the video-tapes and completed a recording form for each. Problems were centrally coded, using the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC).

SETTING:

Primary health care.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Overall distribution of the morbidity; positive agreement regarding the morbidity managed at matched contacts at three levels of specificity (chapter; chapter-component; specific rubric); agreement taking negative agreement into account using Cohen's Kappa.

RESULTS:

Overall distribution of morbidity did not differ between observers. Positive mean agreement was 78.8% at chapter level, 69.6% at chapter-component, and 55.9% at rubric level. Kappa statistics showed agreement better than chance in all chapters, but failed to reach significance at rubric level in three chapters.

CONCLUSION:

Morbidity data actively collected by GPs provide a reliable overview of morbidity managed in general practice. At a specific contact the morbidity recorded is reliable and valid at chapter level, and in most cases, at chapter-component level. At rubric level variance between practitioners in labelling the problem calls into question the validity and reliability of the data.

PMID:
9612880
DOI:
10.1080/028134398750003412
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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