The Primary Care Database User Group Meetings are open to all with an interest in electronic health record research, and are held in the Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health, located at the Royal Free Hospital. Directions can be found on our contact page. To sign up to the Primary Care Database User Group mailing list, please register on JISCMail

Primary Care Database User Group Meetings

Body mass index and cancer - the challenges of a large-scale analysis of routinely collected primary care data
Krishnan Bhaskaran (LSHTM)
Tuesday 19th May, 3.30-5pm

We used primary care data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink to carry out the largest ever single study (>5 million people) looking at how body mass index is associated with a wide range of cancers (Bhaskaran el al, Lancet 2014). In this seminar, I will first cover the background to the topic and the motivation for our study, and I will then particularly focus on the practical design and analysis challenges we encounted during the study. Finally, I will discuss the results of the study in the context of the limitations of the data.

Challenging the assumptions of data preparation and risk attribution in pharmacoepidemiology
Will Dixon (University of Manchester)
Wednesday 1st July, 3.30-5pm

Previous seminars

16 October 2014

Ruth Blackburn presented work using THIN to explore cardiovascular risk screening and statin prescribing to individuals with severe mental illness.

17 September 2014

Yonas Weldeselassie from the Open University gave a presentation on the self controlled case series (SCCS) method with smooth risk functions. More information on SCCS methodology.

1 July 2014

In a talk titled "Doctor, doctor, how can I be sure this medication is safe?", Irene Petersen discussed how electronic health records can and can't be used to examine the safety and effectiveness of prescribed medicine, in the light of the recent debate about the safety of commonly-used medication such as statins, hypnotics, and antidepressants.

26 March 2014

Liz Sampson and Rebecca Lodwick presented a study on: "Health outcomes and health service use of cohabitees living with terminally ill patients with cancer, chronic obstructive airways disease, and dementia", and Michael King and Louise Marston presented a study on: "Mortality and Medical Care after Bereavement: A General Practice Cohort Study".

11 December 2013

Gillian Hall, who has been involved in primary care database research from the very beginning, talked about the history of these databases, as well as guidelines and good practice when using them.

30 October 2013

Hedvig Nordeng from the University of Oslo talked about pharmacoepidemiological studies on medication use and safety during pregnancy.

22 May 2013

Daniel Prieto-Alhambra gave a short introduction to the Catalan SIDIAP primary care database.

9 April 2013

Anoop Shah presented his Freetext Matching Algorithm (FMA), a program which can convert free text entered by clinicians into relevant Read codes. The program, and the paper describing the program, are available free and open access on BioMed Central.

5 February 2013

Our first PDUG meeting of 2013 featured a short presentation by Myriam Alexander on the exploration of multiple measurements of cardiovascular risk factors in THIN. This was followed by Laura Shallcross who presented some results of her PhD project on skin infections in primary care.

4 December 2012

Katie Harron from the UCL Institute of Child Health gave a talk on data linkage and what can go wrong when linking datasets.  

16 October 2012

The meeting was about the development of reporting guidelines for electronic health records (RECORD). More information is available from the RECORD website:

19 September 2012

We started the new academic year with a very special user group meeting featuring Tarek Hammad, deputy director for the Division of epidemiology at the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA). He talked about the role of epidemiology in drug safety from a regulatory perspective.

9 July 2012

Jordana Peake, from the UCL Institute for Women's Health presented on the use of patient identifiable information for data linkage for research into neural tube defects in ethnic communities. And Jenny Woodman, from the UCL Institute for Child Health, told us about the role of the GP for children with (possible) abuse and neglect: a mixed methods study.

14 June 2012

This usergroup meeting focussed on time series analyses. Lisa Szatkowski and Tessa Langley from the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies and University of Nottingham presented their work on evaluation of tobacco control policies: Evaluating tobacco control policies using time series analysis: examples and reflections. Some of their work is detailed in a recent paper using structural vector autoregression analysis.

28 March 2012

We had three speakers, who all have substantial experience with analysing HES data. Pia Hardelid (ICH, UCL), Nick Freemantle (PCPH, UCL) and Ruth Gilbert (ICH, UCL). Pia provided us with an overview of HES data and how it is organised, Nick told us about a study he was involved in that used HES data to assess whether weekend hospitalisation is associated with an increased risk of death, and finally, Ruth shared her expertise on validating codes in HES. 

7 November 2011

Ruth Brauer from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) told us all about her work on antipsychotic agents and myocardial infarction. She compared the results from a case control study to a self-controlled case series design.

28 September 2011

Cathy Welch told us about a two stage method to identify outliers in electronic databases. The slides from this presentation can be found here, and the paper discussed is in press, but will be added to our publications list once it is available.

18 July 2011

Gareth James, a member of our very own THIN team, gave a talk about prevalence and patterns of long term prophylactic antibiotic use in COPD, and how to use multiple imputation to account for missing data in antibiotic prescribing. 

28 March 2011

Beatrix De La Iglesia from the University of East Anglia talked about the work for their recent publication in Heart: "Performance of the ASSIGN cardiovascular disease risk score on a UK cohort of patients from general practice".

Page last modified on 09 apr 15 15:53 by Rebecca K Lodwick