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Feasibility of using self-reported patient data in a national diabetes register

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Background: In order to improve recruitment of patients to the Norwegian diabetes register for adults, a questionnaire was designed to collect data directly from patients. The main aim of this study was to assess the agreement of questionnaire data with data reported to the Register from health care personnel during routine consultations. Methods: Patient data were obtained by sending a questionnaire with 27 of the 41 Register variables to 3714 members of the Norwegian Diabetes Association. Questionnaire data were compared with data already in the Register. Paired t-tests, percentages of total agreement, percentages of "positive" answers and kappa coefficients (k) were used for comparing data. Results: Of the 1645 replies (44.3 %), the Register already had data on 324 patients for comparison. Response rate for most variables was better from patients (ranging from 76-100 %) compared with health care professionals (33-100 %). For 17 of 25 assessable variables including diabetes duration, height, weight, HbA1c, drug treatment and several diabetes complications, agreement was substantial or better with kappa >0.60. Data on family history of premature heart disease (k-0.59), foot examination (k = 0.26), foot ulcer (k = 0.32) and arterial surgery (k = 0.24) seemed to be difficult to answer by patients, whereas data on physical activity and self-monitoring of glucose seemed to be better when reported by patients. Conclusions: Patient response rate was acceptable, and data had good concordance with data from health care professionals for most variables. However, registers using patient questionnaires should compare questionnaire data with data from professionals at regular intervals.




Løvaas, K. F., Cooper, J. G., Sandberg, S., Røraas, T., & Thue, G. (2015). Feasibility of using self-reported patient data in a national diabetes register. BMC Health Services Research, 15(1).

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