Data Completeness and Concordance in the FeverApp Registry: Comparative Study

JMIR Pediatr Parent. 2022 Nov 2;5(4):e35510. doi: 10.2196/35510.


Background: The FeverApp registry uses ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to collect parental data on pediatric fever for scientific research. The mobile app FeverApp educates parents on safe fever management and serves as a fever diary.

Objective: The focus of this study was to evaluate the completeness and concordance of the EMA-based FeverApp registry with regard to its data quality from a multilevel perspective.

Methods: Structured descriptions of fever episodes by health care professionals from an office were used as reference. The number of children, their sociodemographic data, and agreement of fever episodes, with maximum temperature, intake of antipyretics and antibiotics, and physician visits, were compared with the entries in the corresponding physician's reference records. The data quality indicators for completeness, meaning the extent to which the necessary data for the registry has actually been submitted, and concordance, which is the correspondence of the value of a data element with a reference source, were chosen to analyze whether EMA may be a suitable method for this kind of registry.

Results: In both data sources, 1012 children were available for comparison over 16 months. The completeness of gender (1012/1012, 100%) and date of birth (1004/1012, 99.2%) information was high, and the mismatches were 0.69% (7/1012) and 1.19% (12/1012), respectively, between the sources. Of these 1012 children, 668 (66%) registered fever episodes in FeverApp. They relate to 534 families with 953 fever episodes in the reference records and 1452 episodes in the FeverApp registry. Of the 534 families, 183 (34.3%) refrained from visiting the office during fever episodes but nevertheless documented them in FeverApp. Largest part (766/1452, 52.75%) episodes were recorded exclusively in the FeverApp registry by 371 (371/534, 69.5%) families. The remaining 686 (47.2%) episodes of 391 (58.5%) children from 351 (65.7%) families were comparable with the reference data source in terms of physician visits, medication, and temperature. The completeness ranged, depending on the kind of variable, from 11.5% to 65% in the registry and from 7.6% to 42.6% in the office. The 953 fever episodes reported by the reference office consisted of 681 (71.5%) acute and 272 (28.5%) past episodes. In FeverApp, most past (262/272, 96.3%) but less acute (424/681, 62.3%) episodes have been entered. The concordance rates were varied: 90.2% for antibiotic use, 66.6% for antipyretic use, 61.7% for physician visits, and 16% for the highest temperature during the fever episode.

Conclusions: Both sources delivered only partial data, and the rates of completeness and concordance depended on the kind of variable. However, the FeverApp registry showed higher documentation and precision rates than professional records for all considered variables. Therefore, EMA may play a unique supplement for research in ambulatory care. FeverApp could support pediatric offices, especially during the pandemic.

Keywords: completeness; concordance; data quality; ecological momentary assessment; registry.