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Researcher judgment and study design: challenges of using administrative data.

Authors
Boden-LI; Ozonoff-A
Source
Am J Ind Med 2010 Jan; 53(1):37-41
NIOSHTIC No.
20036294
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Questions have been raised about methods of studies finding substantial undercounting of workplace injuries and illnesses by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and workers' compensation agencies. A more recent study of Minnesota concluded that the BLS survey captures 84-90% of workers' compensation cases. METHODS: We examined the sensitivity of findings in two studies to alternate sample definitions and study assumptions. RESULTS: Applying alternate sample construction rules to the earlier study increased estimated BLS reporting rates from 68% to 77%, assuming source independence. Applying alternate assumptions to the more recent Minnesota study reduced its high estimate of BLS reporting from 90% to 53-64%. CONCLUSIONS: Studies linking administrative data from different sources require substantial judgment in constructing research datasets and choosing analytic methods. Moreover, different sample construction rules lead to different results. This suggests that sensitivity analysis should be carried out when alternatives cannot be ruled out. In this case, sensitivity analysis supports the hypothesis of substantial underreporting.
Keywords
Accident-rates; Accident-statistics; Analytical-methods; Analytical-processes; Injuries; Quantitative-analysis; Statistical-analysis; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Author Keywords: occupational injuries; workers' compensation; capture-recapture; study design
Contact
Leslie I. Boden, Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118
CODEN
AJIMD8
Publication Date
20100101
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
lboden@bu.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2010
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-007596
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
0271-3586
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
MA
Performing Organization
Boston University, Medical Campus
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