A validation study of administrative data algorithms to identify patients with Parkinsonism with prevalence and incidence trends

Neuroepidemiology. 2014;43(1):28-37. doi: 10.1159/000365590. Epub 2014 Oct 16.


Background: Epidemiological studies for identifying patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) or Parkinsonism (PKM) have been limited by their nonrandom sampling techniques and mainly veteran populations. This reduces their use for health services planning. The purpose of this study was to validate algorithms for the case ascertainment of PKM from administrative databases using primary care patients as the reference standard.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart abstraction using a random sample of 73,003 adults aged ≥ 20 years from a primary care Electronic Medical Record Administrative data Linked Database (EMRALD) in Ontario, Canada. Physician diagnosis in the EMR was used as the reference standard and population-based administrative databases were used to identify patients with PKM from the derivation of algorithms. We calculated algorithm performance using sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values and then determined the population-level prevalence and incidence trends with the most accurate algorithms.

Results: We selected, '2 physician billing codes in 1 year' as the optimal administrative data algorithm in adults and seniors (≥ 65 years) due to its sensitivity (70.6-72.3%), specificity (99.9-99.8%), positive predictive value (79.5-82.8%), negative predictive value (99.9-99.7%), and prevalence (0.28-1.20%), respectively.

Conclusions: Algorithms using administrative databases can reliably identify patients with PKM with a high degree of accuracy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Databases, Factual
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity