In the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS), comprehensive, nationwide representative data on the state of health of children and adolescents were collected for the first time. During the 3-year data collection phase of the survey, 17,641 subjects were examined and interviewed and approx. 1,500 items were recorded. Data management was not limited to survey data collection, administration and quality assurance alone, but also comprised the provision of tools for the management and control of process data, as well as for managing survey-specific business processes. In the context of the KiGGS study, numerous components for supporting the extensive and complex processes were developed for the study staff. Here the primary focus was on subject and sample point administration, scheduling, sampling, reporting, field logistics and laboratory data management. Thanks to the computer-based processing of routine tasks involved in the organisation of the field work, ease of work and project progress control were enhanced significantly. To some extent, KiGGS-specific components have already been used in other studies and only minor adaptations were needed for the transfer. The main emphasis with regards to survey data management was on the standardisation of methods for data processing, data control and data cleaning. Here, a wealth of previous experiences was available as a starting point. The established quality assurance methods were standardised to a large extent and partly automated and complemented by data base tools for the management and documentation of survey instruments and quality assurance measures. All these measures combined made it possible to provide data users with a controlled and cleaned final data set, including a detailed documentation.
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