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Quality of reporting of drug exposure in pharmacoepidemiological studies

Quality of reporting of drug exposure in pharmacoepidemiological studies

Title: Quality of reporting of drug exposure in pharmacoepidemiological studies
Author: Hempenius, Mirjam
Luijken, Kim
Boer, Anthonius
Klungel, Olaf
Groenwold, Rolf
Gardarsdottir, Helga   orcid.org/0000-0001-5623-9684
Date: 2020-05-11
Language: English
Scope: 1141-1150
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Heilbrigðisvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Health Sciences (UI)
Department: Lyfjafræðideild (HÍ)
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UI)
Series: Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety;29(9)
ISSN: 1053-8569
1099-1557 (eISSN)
DOI: 10.1002/pds.5020
Subject: Drug exposure; Pharmacoepidemiology; Reporting; Systematic review; Lyfjafræði; Faraldsfræði
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2230

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Hempenius, M, Luijken, K, de Boer, A, Klungel, O, Groenwold, R, Gardarsdottir, H. Quality of reporting of drug exposure in pharmacoepidemiological studies. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 2020; 29: 1141– 1150. https://doi.org/10.1002/pds.5020


Purpose: Exposure definitions vary across pharmacoepidemiological studies. Therefore, transparent reporting of exposure definitions is important for interpretation of published study results. We aimed to assess the quality of reporting of exposure to identify where improvement may be needed. Method: We systematically reviewed observational pharmacoepidemiological studies that used routinely collected health data, published in 2017 in six pharmacoepidemiological journals. Reporting of exposure was scored using 11 items of the ISPE-ISPOR guideline on reporting of pharmacoepidemiological studies. Results: Of the 91 studies included, all studies reported the type of exposure (100%), while most reported the exposure risk window (85%) and the exposure assessment window (98%). Operationalization of the exposure window was described infrequently: 16% (14/90) of the studies explicitly reported the presence or absence of an induction period if applicable, 11% (5/47), and 35% (17/49) reported how stockpiling and gaps between exposure episodes were handled, respectively, and 35% (17/49) explicitly mentioned the exposure extension. Switching/add-on was reported in 62% (50/81). How switching between drugs was dealt with and specific drug codes were reported in 52 (57%) and 24 (26%) studies, respectively. Conclusion: Publications of pharmacoepidemiological studies frequently reported the type of exposure, the exposure risk window, and the exposure assessment window. However, more details on exposure assessment are needed, especially when it concerns the operationalization of the exposure risk window (eg, the presence or absence of an induction period or exposure extension, handling of stockpiling and gaps, and specific codes), to allow for correct interpretation, reproducibility, and assessment of validity.


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