Completeness and usability of ethnicity data in UK-based primary care and hospital databases

Mathur, Rohini and Bhaskaran, Krishnan and Chaturved, Nish and Leon, David and vanStaa, Tjeerd and Grundy, Emily and Smeeth, Liam (2013) Completeness and usability of ethnicity data in UK-based primary care and hospital databases. Journal of Public Health, 35 (4). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1741-3850

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Background: Ethnicity recording across the National Health Service (NHS) has improved dramatically over the past decade. This study profiles the completeness, consistency and representativeness of routinely collected ethnicity data in both primary care and hospital settings.

Methods: Completeness and consistency of ethnicity recording was examined in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), and the ethnic breakdown of the CPRD was compared with that of the 2011 UK censuses.

Results: 27.1% of all patients in the CPRD (1990–2012) have ethnicity recorded. This proportion rises to 78.3% for patients registered since April 2006. The ethnic breakdown of the CPRD is comparable to the UK censuses. 79.4% of HES inpatients, 46.8% of outpatients and 26.8% of A&E patients had their ethnicity recorded. Amongst those with ethnicity recorded on .1 occasion, consistency was over 90% in all data sets except for HES inpatients. Combining CPRD and HES increased completeness to 97%, with 85% of patients having the same ethnicity recorded in both databases.

Conclusions: Using CPRD ethnicity from 2006 onwards maximizes completeness and comparability with the UK population. High concordance within and across NHS sources suggests these data are of high value when examining the continuum of care. Poor completeness and consistency of A&E and outpatient data render these sources unreliable.

Keywords: epidemiology, ethnicity, methods

Item Type: Article
Subjects: 2. Data Collection > 2.12 Data Collection (other)
3. Data Quality and Data Management > 3.8 Data Quality and Data Management (other)
5. Quantitative Data Handling and Data Analysis > 5.17 Quantitative Approaches (other)
Depositing User: PATH User
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2013 15:01
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 13:58

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