The muscular Dystrophy Surveillance Tracking and Research Network (MD STARnet): surveillance methodology

Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2006 Nov;76(11):793-7. doi: 10.1002/bdra.20279.


Background: This report focuses on the common protocol developed by the Muscular Dystrophy Surveillance Tracking and Research Network (MD STARnet) for population-based surveillance of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy (DBMD) among 4 states (Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, and New York).

Methods: The network sites have developed a case definition and surveillance protocol along with software applications for medical record abstraction, clinical review, and pooled data. Neuromuscular specialists at each site review the pooled data to determine if a case meets the case criteria. Sources of potential cases of DBMD include neuromuscular specialty clinics, service sites for children with special healthcare needs, and hospital discharge databases. Each site also adheres to a common information assurance protocol.

Results: A population-based surveillance system for DBMD was created and implemented in participating states.

Conclusions: The development and implementation of the population-based system will allow for the collection of information that is intended to provide a greater understanding of DBMD prevalence and health outcomes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Abstracting and Indexing / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arizona / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Protocols / standards*
  • Colorado / epidemiology
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iowa / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / diagnosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / epidemiology*
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Prevalence