Open Access Research article

The Danish neonatal clinical database is valuable for epidemiologic research in respiratory disease in preterm infants

Sofia Andersson1*, Jesper Padkær Petersen2, Tine Brink Henriksen2 and Finn Ebbesen1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Paediatrics, Aalborg University Hospital, Reberbansgade, DK 9000 Aalborg, Denmark

2 Department of Paediatrics, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Brendstrupgårdsvej 100, DK 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark

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BMC Pediatrics 2014, 14:47  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-47

Published: 17 February 2014



We examined the quality of the information on the use of surfactant and the use of and duration of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP), oxygen supplementation, and mechanical ventilation in the Danish Neonatal Clinical Database (NeoBase).


We included all neonates born with a gestational age < 32 weeks admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at two university hospitals in 2005. On discharge, the clinicians complete a structured form with information related to the delivery and course of stay in the NICU. These forms were entered into the NeoBase. The nurses’ daily bedside documentation was used as reference standard. Concordance was used as a measure of agreement between the NeoBase and the reference standard. For the dichotomous variables the concordance was defined as the sensitivity of the information registered in the NeoBase. For the continuous variables, it was based on the discrepancy in days between the NeoBase and the reference standard. The percentage of concordance was described as high (> 90), moderate (70–90) or low (< 70).


Overall, 153 infants participated in the study. Concordance was high for all dichotomous variables. The NeoBase slightly underestimated the duration of nCPAP and mechanical ventilation. The duration of oxygen therapy was neither over- nor underestimated in the NeoBase. Concordance was low for all continuous variables if we assumed that the registered information was identical. It was 100% for duration of mechanical ventilation and moderate for nCPAP and oxygen supplementation if we allowed for a discrepancy of 1 day.


The NeoBase is a valuable tool for clinical and epidemiologic research and quality assurance regarding neonatal respiratory disease.

Respiratory variables; Very preterm infants; Validation; Epidemiology; Quality assurance