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Using electronic patient records to assess the effect of a complex antenatal intervention in a cluster randomised controlled trial—data management experience from the DESiGN Trial team

Relph, S; Elstad, M; Coker, B; Vieira, MC; Moitt, N; Gutierrez, WM; Khalil, A; ... Pasupathy, D; + view all (2021) Using electronic patient records to assess the effect of a complex antenatal intervention in a cluster randomised controlled trial—data management experience from the DESiGN Trial team. Trials , 22 (1) , Article 95. 10.1186/s13063-021-05141-8. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The use of electronic patient records for assessing outcomes in clinical trials is a methodological strategy intended to drive faster and more cost-efficient acquisition of results. The aim of this manuscript was to outline the data collection and management considerations of a maternity and perinatal clinical trial using data from electronic patient records, exemplifying the DESiGN Trial as a case study. Methods: The DESiGN Trial is a cluster randomised control trial assessing the effect of a complex intervention versus standard care for identifying small for gestational age foetuses. Data on maternal/perinatal characteristics and outcomes including infants admitted to neonatal care, parameters from foetal ultrasound and details of hospital activity for health-economic evaluation were collected at two time points from four types of electronic patient records held in 22 different electronic record systems at the 13 research clusters. Data were pseudonymised on site using a bespoke Microsoft Excel macro and securely transferred to the central data store. Data quality checks were undertaken. Rules for data harmonisation of the raw data were developed and a data dictionary produced, along with rules and assumptions for data linkage of the datasets. The dictionary included descriptions of the rationale and assumptions for data harmonisation and quality checks. Results: Data were collected on 182,052 babies from 178,350 pregnancies in 165,397 unique women. Data availability and completeness varied across research sites; each of eight variables which were key to calculation of the primary outcome were completely missing in median 3 (range 1–4) clusters at the time of the first data download. This improved by the second data download following clarification of instructions to the research sites (each of the eight key variables were completely missing in median 1 (range 0–1) cluster at the second time point). Common data management challenges were harmonising a single variable from multiple sources and categorising free-text data, solutions were developed for this trial. Conclusions: Conduct of clinical trials which use electronic patient records for the assessment of outcomes can be time and cost-effective but still requires appropriate time and resources to maximise data quality. A difficulty for pregnancy and perinatal research in the UK is the wide variety of different systems used to collect patient data across maternity units. In this manuscript, we describe how we managed this and provide a detailed data dictionary covering the harmonisation of variable names and values that will be helpful for other researchers working with these data. Trial registration: Primary registry and trial identifying number: ISRCTN 67698474. Registered on 02/11/16.

Type: Article
Title: Using electronic patient records to assess the effect of a complex antenatal intervention in a cluster randomised controlled trial—data management experience from the DESiGN Trial team
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13063-021-05141-8
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05141-8
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Data management, Data linkage, Methodology, Electronic patient records, Cluster randomised trial, Perinatal, Maternal
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Maternal and Fetal Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Neonatology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123662
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