Special Issue "The Utility of Administrative Data in Health Research"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Thomas Waldhör
E-Mail Website
Leading Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology, Center for Public Health, Medical University Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Interests: epidemiological studies; real world data; big data; statistical methods; risk modeling; spatial epidemiology; birth/death certificate data
Dr. Lin Yang
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research, Cancer Care Alberta, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, AB T2S 3C3, Canada
Interests: cancer prevention, cancer survivorship, administrative data, clinical trial, population-level lifestyle modification
Dr. Yuan Xu
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Departments of Oncology, Surgery and Community Health Sciences, and the Center for Health Informatics, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Interests: clinical epidemiology; real-world evidence; electronic medical record data; administrative data; population-based study; prediction model; decision making; cancer outcome

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The availability and use of regional or national population-based administrative data in health research (e.g., health insurances, cancer, and mortality registries) has increased rapidly in recent years. Especially in countries where a unique person identifier enables the linkage of various databases, administrative data allow estimating the risk of morbidity or mortality, taking into consideration sociodemographic as well as clinical and laboratory-based factors. The use of administrative data in health research has advantages as well as disadvantages, e.g., encompassing a big proportion of the underlying population, thereby reducing the likelihood of selection bias, and thus providing a comprehensive picture of the overall population in comparison to small-sized, clinical-based studies. Additionally, real-world data may allow the analysis of long-term trends, which is rarely possible in clinical studies. On the other hand, administrative data are not set up primarily for scientific use but for administrative purposes (e.g., financial claims) and may thus not meet scientific requirements. Therefore, advantages as well as disadvantages need to be discussed carefully in order to provide an unbiased interpretation of the results.

This Special Issue seeks methodology and original research papers on the various aspects of using real-world or administrative data to describe health-related indicators and their potential association with sociodemographic, environmental, and biometric data.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Waldhör
Dr. Lin Yang
Dr. Yuan Xu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • administrative data
  • real world evidence
  • health insurances
  • health-related indicators
  • population based
  • observational
  • insurance claims
  • registry
  • linkage

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Difference in Incontinence Pad Use between Patients after Radical Prostatectomy and Cancer-Free Population with Subgroup Analysis for Open vs. Minimally Invasive Radical Prostatectomy: A Descriptive Analysis of Insurance Claims-Based Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6891; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18136891 - 27 Jun 2021
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Purpose: to quantify and compare pre- and post-surgical incontinence pad use between men treated with radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer (PCa) and cancer-free controls, using population-based Austrian insurance claims data. Methods: Men who underwent RP for treating PCa between 2013–2015 were identified. [...] Read more.
Purpose: to quantify and compare pre- and post-surgical incontinence pad use between men treated with radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer (PCa) and cancer-free controls, using population-based Austrian insurance claims data. Methods: Men who underwent RP for treating PCa between 2013–2015 were identified. Cancer-free men ≥45 years with and without benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) were used as controls. Longitudinal data on ICD-diagnoses, type of surgery, prescribed incontinence pads, and hospitals’ surgery volumes were aggregated between 2011–2018 to capture pre- and up to three years post-RP follow-up. Monthly rates of pad use were calculated and compared between RP types and cancer-free controls. Results: A total of 6248 RP patients, 7158 cancer-free men with BPH, and 50,257 cancer-free men without BPH were analyzed. Comparing to pre-RP (0.03, 95%CI: 0.02–0.05), RP resulted in significantly higher rates of prescribed pads (at 3 months: 12.61, 95%CI: 11.59–13.65; 12 months: 6.71, 95%CI: 6.10–7.34; 36 months: 4.91, 95%CI: 3.76–4.62). These rates were also higher than those for cancer free controls (with BPH:0.06, 95%CI: 0.04–0.09; without BPH:0.12, 95%CI: 0.10–0.14). The rate of prescribed pads after surgery continued to decline over time and remained higher among men who underwent minimally invasive RP compared to those who underwent an open procedure. Conclusion: Despite progress in surgical techniques, post-RP incontinence remains a prevalent adverse event. The rate of pad usage steadily improved over the first three years post RP. The rate of patients with incontinence needing pads was higher among those who were treated minimally invasive compared to open approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Utility of Administrative Data in Health Research)
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