Validation of key behaviourally based mental health diagnoses in administrative data: suicide attempt, alcohol abuse, illicit drug abuse and tobacco use
AuthorsKim, Hyungjin Myra
Smith, Eric G.
Stano, Claire M.
UMass Chan AffiliationsDepartment of Psychiatry
Document TypeJournal Article
*International Classification of Diseases
Reproducibility of Results
Sensitivity and Specificity
Tobacco Use Disorder
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractBACKGROUND: Observational research frequently uses administrative codes for mental health or substance use diagnoses and for important behaviours such as suicide attempts. We sought to validate codes (International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition, clinical modification diagnostic and E-codes) entered in Veterans Health Administration administrative data for patients with depression versus a gold standard of electronic medical record text ("chart notation"). METHODS: Three random samples of patients were selected, each stratified by geographic region, gender, and year of cohort entry, from a VHA depression treatment cohort from April 1, 1999 to September 30, 2004. The first sample was selected from patients who died by suicide, the second from patients who remained alive on the date of death of suicide cases, and the third from patients with a new start of a commonly used antidepressant medication. Four variables were assessed using administrative codes in the year prior to the index date: suicide attempt, alcohol abuse/dependence, drug abuse/dependence and tobacco use. RESULTS: Specificity was high (≥ 90%) for all four administrative codes, regardless of the sample. Sensitivity was ≤75% and was particularly low for suicide attempt (≤ 17%). Positive predictive values for alcohol dependence/abuse and tobacco use were high, but barely better than flipping a coin for illicit drug abuse/dependence. Sensitivity differed across the three samples, but was highest in the suicide death sample. CONCLUSIONS: Administrative data-based diagnoses among VHA records have high specificity, but low sensitivity. The accuracy level varies by different diagnosis and by different patient subgroup.
SourceBMC Health Serv Res. 2012 Jan 23;12:18. Link to article on publisher's site
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/39533
Related ResourcesLink to Article in PubMed
Rights© 2012 Kim et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.