Development of a data dictionary for the Strategies for Post Arrest Resuscitation Care (SPARC) network for post cardiac arrest research

Resuscitation. 2011 Apr;82(4):419-22. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2010.12.006. Epub 2011 Jan 26.


Background: The widely accepted Utstein style has standardized data collection and analysis in resuscitation and post resuscitation research. However, collection of many of these variables poses significant practical challenges. In addition, several important variables in post resuscitation research are missing.

Objective: Our aim was to develop a comprehensive data dictionary and web-based data collection tool as part of the Strategies for Post Arrest Resuscitation Care (SPARC) Network project, which implemented a knowledge translation program for post cardiac arrest therapeutic hypothermia in 37 Ontario hospitals.

Methods: A list of data variables was generated based on the current Utstein style, previous studies and expert opinion within our group of investigators. We developed a data dictionary by creating clear definitions and establishing abstraction instructions for each variable. The data dictionary was integrated into a web-based collection form allowing for interactive data entry. Two blinded investigators piloted the data collection tool, by performing a retrospective chart review.

Results: A total of 454 variables were included of which 400 were Utstein, 2 were adapted from existing studies and 52 were added to address missing elements. Kappa statistics for two outcome variables, survival to discharge and induction of therapeutic hypothermia were 0.86 and 0.64, respectively.

Conclusion: This is the first attempt in the literature to develop a data dictionary as part of a standardized, pragmatic data collection tool for post cardiac arrest research patients. In addition, our dataset defined important variables that were previously missing. This data collection tool can serve as a reference for future trials in post cardiac arrest care.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / organization & administration*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Dictionaries as Topic*
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Heart Arrest / mortality
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*