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Re: More on: Re: [Gnumed-devel] First sample of gui function docs


From: ju0815nk
Subject: Re: More on: Re: [Gnumed-devel] First sample of gui function docs
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2003 20:22:28 +0200 (MEST)

> That's the difference between the use of systematic nulls and a mess.
> When capturing information, it is vital to distinguish between "unknown"
> and "nil/null". When collecting infomation to be used in aggregate
> analyses, it is also important to further subdivide "unknown" into a)
> "unknown because question not asked", b) "unknown because answer not
> given by subject" and c) "unknown because answer not known by subject".
> a) should be generally be excluded from the denominator when calculating
> rates or proportions, but b) and c) should be included in the
> denominator.
I agree absolutely that a detailed information on missing data is essential
for statistical analisys. However, Gnumed will be used primarily as an tool
for
documentation of patient data by medical practitioners. Although it might be

desirable to enable a finer grained coding of missing data at the backend,
we 
might not want to enforce this coding at data entry (at least, this should
be configurable). 
Some medical doctors that are less interested in analysis of their data will
probably
prefer speed of data entry to scientific correctness of information entered.

If the user asks questions and enteres data always in the same order it
might even be
acceptable to treat a missing information as b) / c). This will not be true
if the data should be used 
by others (say, in a controlled study). But than, more effort will be
necessary in order to 
ensure the correctness and validity of the data (queries, source data
verfication). 

Hilmar

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