Agreement between self-reported data on medicine use and prescription records vary according to method of analysis and therapeutic group

J Clin Epidemiol. 2008 Sep;61(9):919-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2007.10.021. Epub 2008 May 12.


Objective: This study compared national self-reported data on medicine use and national prescription records at the individual level.

Study design and setting: Data from the nationally representative Danish health survey conducted in 2000 (n=16,688) were linked at the individual level to national prescription records covering 1999-2000. Kappa statistics and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.

Results: Applying the legend time method to medicine groups used mainly on a chronic basis revealed good to very good agreement between the two data sources, whereas medicines used as needed showed fair to moderate agreement. When a fixed-time window was applied for analysis, agreement was unchanged for medicines used mainly on a chronic basis, whereas agreement increased somewhat compared to the legend time method when analyzing medicines used as needed.

Conclusion: Agreement between national self-reported data and national prescription records differed according to method of analysis and therapeutic group. A fixed-time window is an appropriate method of analysis for most therapeutic groups.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Utilization
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / supply & distribution
  • Pharmacoepidemiology*
  • Records*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations