The accuracy of using a wound care specialty clinic database to study diabetic neuropathic foot ulcers

Wound Repair Regen. May-Jun 2000;8(3):169-73. doi: 10.1046/j.1524-475x.2000.00169.x.


Few epidemiologic studies have examined the effect of clinical risk factors on the probability that a patient with a chronic wound will heal or develop another wound. Curative Health Services maintains one of the few databases that contain detailed patient record information on patients with chronic wounds. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of using this database to study individuals with diabetic neuropathic foot ulcers. 154 patient medical records were randomly selected from the database and abstracted using a standardized questionnaire and protocol. We assessed three key variables: diagnosis of diabetic neuropathic foot ulcer, whether the patient healed, and if the patient received an autologous product called platelet releasate. These variables in the database very accurately agreed with the information in the patient medical records, with positive predictive values of 98% (95% confidence interval [0.89, 0.99]), 93% (95% confidence interval [0. 68, 0.99]), and 100%, respectively. We have shown that, with respect to these three variables, the database is very accurate when compared to the medical record. It therefore represents a valuable tool with which to study patients with diabetic insensate foot ulcers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Diabetic Foot / epidemiology*
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Reproducibility of Results