Published Jun 2013
Schulman KL, Berenson K, Shih Y-C(T, et al. A Checklist for Ascertaining Study Cohorts in Oncology Health Services Research Using Secondary Data: Report of the ISPOR Oncology Good Outcomes Research Practices Working Group. Value in Health. 2013;16(4):655-669.
The ISPOR Oncology Special Interest Group formed a working group at the end of 2010 to develop standards for conducting oncology health services research using secondary data. The first mission of the group was to develop a checklist focused on issues specific to selection of a sample of oncology patients using a secondary data source.
A systematic review of the published literature from 2006 to 2010 was conducted to characterize the use of secondary data sources in oncology and inform the leadership of the working group prior to the construction of the checklist. A draft checklist was subsequently presented to the ISPOR membership in 2011 with subsequent feedback from the larger Oncology Special Interest Group also incorporated into the final checklist.
The checklist includes six elements: identification of the cancer to be studied, selection of an appropriate data source, evaluation of the applicability of published algorithms, development of custom algorithms (if needed), validation of the custom algorithm, and reporting and discussions of the ascertainment criteria. The checklist was intended to be applicable to various types of secondary data sources, including cancer registries, claims databases, electronic medical records, and others.
This checklist makes two important contributions to oncology health services research. First, it can assist decision makers and reviewers in evaluating the quality of studies using secondary data. Second, it highlights methodological issues to be considered when researchers are constructing a study cohort from a secondary data source.