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The CPRD is a rich research resource and presents an excellent opportunity for those who wish to conduct observational research using primary care data. However, the data are vast and complex in nature and potential users should bear in mind that the data is not collected for research purposes (it is collected in routine clinical practice).

There are several important steps that must be completed along the path from project inception to final publication - the CPRD Research Group can provide help and advice at all stages. We have expertise in the following areas:

  1. Project scoping and planning – We can help determine project feasibility at the planning/pre-grant application stage and suggest modifications or improvements if necessary. We can also provide feasibility/prevalence counts to help with sample size calculations.

  2. Approvals process - All research projects which use CPRD data must gain approval, in advance, from the CPRD Independent Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC). We can help with protocol and READ code list development to maximize the chance of first-time approval.

  3. Data acquisition - We have dedicated CPRD fob-holders (individuals who are permitted to extract CPRD data from CPRD files) who will extract medical history data from the database for the relevant patients in each study. We can also liaise with CPRD directly to obtain linked data.

  4. Data management and analysis – After initial data extraction, a significant amount of time must be spent ‘cleaning’ and managing the data, so that it is suitable for analysis (e.g. variable creation, dealing with outliers and missing data). We can do as much or as little data management as is required, up to and including production of a fully clean and analyzable 1-line per patient dataset. For fully collaborative projects, we can also be involved in data analysis.

Please if you would like help in any of the above areas.