Record Linkage: Applied to a Clinical Trial and Cohort Study

MacLeod, Margaret Catriona Morag (1995) Record Linkage: Applied to a Clinical Trial and Cohort Study. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The main aim of this thesis is to investigate the role of computerised record linkage in clinical trial and epidemiological follow-up. This is illustrated using the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS). This study is placed in context by reviewing the results of previous clinical trials and epidemiological studies. Details of the probabilistic basis for record linkage techniques and the practical methods used to set up a computerised record linkage system are also given. The above ideas are brought together in the application of record linkage techniques, as employed in the Scottish Record Linkage System, to link the WOSCOPS subjects to their morbidity and mortality records on the Scottish national databases. The data resulting from the linkages are considered in various ways. A comparative study was carried out for the subjects randomised into WOSCOPS. The availability of two separate adverse event databases, one produced by routine subject follow-up and the other derived by computerised record linkage, provided a unique opportunity to assess the completeness and accuracy of each of the follow-up methods, and the benefits of a system incorporating both methods. This study found that record linkage compared well with traditional methods of follow-up in terms of completeness, accuracy, speed and cost. Record linkage provided the only feasible method by which adverse event records could be obtained for the large cohort of subjects screened for WOSCOPS. The data for the screened cohort were analysed in relation to categories of baseline risk factors. Data were categorised to maintain subject anonymity since informed consent was not available for all screenees. Analysis of this large cohort provided results which were in agreement with the previous studies. The mortality rates observed for the screened cohort using record linkage were finally compared to the mortality rates for the general population in the screening area. This provides an assessment of how representative the screened cohort is of the general population. It was found that the general population in the screening area tended to have higher mortality rates than the screened cohort.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Ian Ford
Keywords: Statistics, Biostatistics
Date of Award: 1995
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1995-74837
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 15:55
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 15:55

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