Dr Amanda Nicholson, University of Brighton
- BA Medical Science, University of Cambridge.
- Research Fellow in Primary Care Epidemiology. Brighton & Sussex Medical School
As an epidemiologist specialising in social inequalities in health and psychosocial influences on health, my focus has recently shifted to the potential of using primary care electronic patient records as a research resource. My current research activity concentrates on developing skills to access and use these data for research. I am using the GPRD (a large UK-based primary care database) to examine the incidence and management of two diverse health conditions : pelvic inflammatory disease and rheumatoid arthritis. I will examine patient and practice factors associated with suboptimal management of these conditions. Because patient data are collected for clinical care rather than research, there is considerable methodological work to be done to ensure that the data can be reliably used for research. One major issue is the balance between coded data and data entered as free text. I am involved in a project funded by the Wellcome Trust (PI: Prof. J Cassell) which aims to use natural language processing techniques to access textual data that are not usually available to researchers.