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Open Access Research article

Concordance of self-reported and medical chart information on cancer diagnosis and treatment

Vinay Gupta12, Kai Gu1, Zhi Chen3, Wei Lu1, Xiao Ou Shu3 and Ying Zheng1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cancer Control & Prevention, Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1380 Zhongshan Road West, Shanghai 200336, China

2 College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA

3 Division of Epidemiology, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2525 West End Avenue, Suite 600, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

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BMC Medical Research Methodology 2011, 11:72  doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-72

Published: 18 May 2011

Abstract

Background

Self-reported information is an important tool for collecting clinical information for epidemiologic studies and in clinical settings where electronic medical records are not employed and shared.

Methods

Using data collected from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study (SBCSS), a population-based, prospective cohort study of 5,042 women diagnosed with breast cancer in Shanghai, China, we compared the concordance of patient questionnaire responses to a survey administered approximately 6 months after cancer diagnosis with medical chart information obtained from the diagnostic hospitals for several disease and treatment-related variables.

Results

Of 5,042 SBCSS participants, medical chart information was available for 4,948 women (98.1%). Concordance between patient self-reported and medical chart information was high for the majority of disease-related variables, including: diagnosing hospital (agreement: 98.7%, kappa: 0.99), type of surgery conducted (94.0%, 0.53), ER/PR status (94.5%, 0.91), and tumor position (98.2%, 0.97), as well as for important calendar dates, such as date of diagnosis, surgery, and first chemotherapy treatment. The 10 most commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs were all reported with agreement rates of at least 82%, with associated kappa values that ranged from 0.41 for calcium folinate to 0.76 for vinorelbine.

Conclusions

Our study found high validity for patient self-reported information for a variety of disease and treatment-related variables, suggesting the utility of self-reports as an important source of clinical information for both epidemiological research and patient care.