Analysis Of Large Medical Datasets Can Be Both Informative and Misleading

David F. Penson, MD, MPHHamilton and Howd Chair in Urologic Oncology Professor and Chair, Department of Urologic Surgery Director, Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, TN 37232-2765MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
David F. Penson, MD, MPH
Hamilton and Howd Chair in Urologic Oncology
Professor and Chair, Department of Urologic Surgery
Director, Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN 37232-2765

Medical Research: What is the background for this editorial? What are the main findings?

Response: This editorial discusses the implication of the recent removal of the PSA data from the seer-medicare dataset. It reviews the significance of the action: specifically what it means for prior publications that used this information to address clinical research questions in prostate cancer. It makes the point that, while these datasets are powerful, researchers have stretched the limits of what they can do too far. Simply put, we cant always guarantee that the clinical data collected in administrative datasets will necessarily be accurate so we need to be more selective in how we use these data and not simply run analyses on the data just because it is easy.

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