The quality of medical record review studies in the international emergency medicine literature

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Badcock, Diana, Kelly, Anne-Maree, Kerr, Debra and Reade, Tom (2005) The quality of medical record review studies in the international emergency medicine literature. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 45 (4). pp. 444-447. ISSN 0196-0644


Study objective: We assess the methodologic quality of studies using medical record review methodology in 4 international emergency medicine journals. A secondary aim was to compare methodology quality among these journals and across years. Methods: This was an observational study of articles whose main methodology was medical record review published in Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM), Annals of Emergency Medicine (Annals), Emergency Medicine Journal (EMJ), and Emergency Medicine Australasia (EMA) between January 2002 and May 2004. Eligible articles were reviewed for reporting of a clear hypothesis or objective, training of abstractors, defined inclusion and exclusion criteria, use of a standard abstraction form, definition of important variables, monitoring of abstractor performance, blinding of abstractors to study hypothesis, reporting of interrater reliability, sample size or power calculation, reporting of ethics approval or waiver, and disclosure of funding source. The primary outcome was the proportion of articles meeting each criterion. Secondary outcomes were comparison of the proportions of articles meeting each criterion among journals and by years. Results: One hundred seven articles were analyzed; 31 were published in AEM, 29 in Annals, 29 in EMJ, and 18 in EMA. A clear aim was reported in 93% of articles, standardized abstraction forms were reported in 51%, interrater reliability was reported in 25%, ethics approval or waiver was reported in 68%, and sample size or power calculation was reported in 10%. Conclusion: Adherence to the quality criteria for medical record reviews was suboptimal, and there were significant differences among journals in overall methodologic quality.

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Brief Research Report

Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2004.11.011
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Biomedical and Health Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1103 Clinical Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Keywords emergency medicine research, medical record review, MRR, published research, research methods, medical records, validity, data collection
Citations in Scopus 42 - View on Scopus
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