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Title: Examining the quality of name code record linkage: what is the impact on death and cancer risk estimates? A validation study
Authors: Swart A; Meagher NS; van Leeuwen MT; Zhao Kun; Grulich A; Mao L; Randall DA; Degenhardt L; Burns L; O'Connell DL; Amin J; Vajdic CM
Categories: Cancer Control, Survivorship, and Outcomes Research - Surveillance
Year: 2015
Journal Title: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume: 39
Issue: 2
Page number start: 141
Page number end: 147
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To examine the validity and impact of record linkage using name code compared to full name records. METHODS: A registry of 45,419 opioid substitution clients (1985-2007) was linked with national population-based death and cancer registries using registrant's name, date of birth, sex, state, postcode and date of death. Records were linked using full name and then using the first two letters of the given and surname (2×2 name code). Sensitivity and specificity were computed and regression analysis used to identify factors related to linkage accuracy. Standardised mortality ratios (SMR) and standardised cancer incidence ratios (SIR) were estimated. RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity of name code compared to full name linkage were 65.31% and 99.91% for death records and 76.81% and 99.89% for cancer records. Registrants' age and sex and accuracy of the registries were associated with risk of false linkages. Death and cancer risks (SMR 6.98, 95%CI 6.77-7.19; SIR 1.16, 95%CI 1.08-1.24) were significantly under-estimated using name code linkage (SMR 4.39, 95%CI 4.23-4.56; SIR 0.92, 95%CI 0.85-0.99). CONCLUSION: Record linkage using 2×2 name code has low sensitivity but high specificity, resulting in conservative estimates of death and cancer risk. This may translate to meaningful differences in outcomes.
Division: Cancer Research Division
Funding Body: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; ID630531) and the Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales. Also supported by Fellowships from the NHMRC Council (MTvL ID1012141; LD ID510279 and ID1041742; AEG ID568819; CMV ID1023159) and the Cancer Institute New South Wales (CMV ID10/CDF/2‐42). The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of NSW is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Substance Misuse Prevention and Service Improvements Grants Fund.
DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12287
Appears in Collections:Research Articles

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