Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

GPs take more than a month to record ovarian cancer diagnosis in one in 10 cases, British study shows

Date:
February 24, 2011
Source:
BMJ Open
Summary:
Family doctors can take more than a month to record ovarian cancer, once diagnosed by a specialist, in one in 10 cases examined in the U.K.

Family doctors can take more than a month to record ovarian cancer, once diagnosed by a specialist, in one in 10 cases, indicates research published in the launch issue of the new online journal BMJ Open.

Ovarian cancer was also incorrectly or prematurely classified in 11% of cases, the data show.

The authors base their findings on the "free text" data available in patient records, which are submitted to the General Practice Research Database (GPRD).

The GPRD contains long term anonymised medical data on more than four million patients on the lists of a representative 500 primary care practices across the UK.

The information, which is created during the course of GP consultations or correspondence relating to specialist referrals and diagnostic tests, is widely used for studies on aspects of disease and drug safety.

The authors focused on the Read codes relating to a diagnosis of ovarian cancer in women aged 40 to 80, between 2002 and 2007.

Read codes are used to code symptoms and diagnoses electronically in primary care in the UK. They provide the option to enter free text for each code, such as a letter from the specialist and a date when the 'event' occurred.

The authors also looked at this free text information to establish the time lag between when the specialist notified the GP of the diagnosis and the date it was officially coded as such in the patient's record.

There is a good deal of free text in the database, but it is not always coded by GPs nor accessed by researchers, say the authors.

During the study period, 344 women were given one of three Read codes indicating a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Most cases (90%) had free text relating to ovarian disease, and in almost two thirds (64%) this confirmed a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

But in one in five cases (22%) free text information confirmed this diagnosis before it was officially coded as such in the patient's record. In one in 10 cases more than four weeks had elapsed.

The free text information also showed that mistakes been made in 11% of the records.

Four cases coded for ovarian cancer did not have the disease at all; in another six cases the cancer was a recurrence which was not evident in the coding. And in 35 cases, patients had been coded before a definitive diagnosis had been made

"For diseases which rely on hospital consultants for diagnosis, free text (particularly letters) is invaluable for accurate dating of diagnosis and referrals and also for identifying misclassified cases," conclude the authors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ Open. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A Rosemary Tate, Alexander G R Martin, Aishath Ali, Jackie Cassell. Using free text information to explore how and when GPs code a diagnosis of ovarian cancer: an observational study using primary care records of patients with ovarian cancer. BMJ Open, 23 February 2011 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2010-000025

Cite This Page:

BMJ Open. "GPs take more than a month to record ovarian cancer diagnosis in one in 10 cases, British study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110224121936.htm>.
BMJ Open. (2011, February 24). GPs take more than a month to record ovarian cancer diagnosis in one in 10 cases, British study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110224121936.htm
BMJ Open. "GPs take more than a month to record ovarian cancer diagnosis in one in 10 cases, British study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110224121936.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins