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March 21, 2022

Improving Cohort Definitions in Research Using Hospital Administrative Databases—Do We Need Guidelines?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Children’s Hospital Association, Lenexa, Kansas
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Mercy Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri
  • 3Gastroenterology, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, Missouri
  • 4Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2022;176(6):539-540. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.0091

In the recent past, we have seen a profusion of scientific articles with observations based on cohorts that were derived from administrative health care databases (AHDs), including the Pediatric Health Information System and the Kids’ Inpatient Database, together accounting for 7977 peer reviewed articles since 2000. However, we lack criteria for appraising the validity of the cohorts that investigators derive from the base population. A concerted effort by investigators, editors, and reviewers is needed to qualify and improve this key aspect of study design.

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