Article: PDF OnlyAnalysis of Automated Administrative and Survey Databases to Study Patterns and Outcomes of CareDeyo, Richard A. MD, MPH; Taylor, Victoria M. MD, MPH; Diehr, Paula PhD; Conrad, Douglas PhD; Cherkin, Daniel C. PhD; Ciol, Marcia PhD; Kreuter, WilliamAuthor Information Departments of Medicine, Health Services, Biostatistics, and Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, and the Health Services Research and Development Field Program, Seattle Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Spine: September 15, 1994 - Volume 19 - Issue 18 - p 2083S-2091S Free Abstract Large computerized databases often arise from national surveys. insurance claims, and statewide health care registries. These databases are increasingly used to examine patterns of medical care and certain outcomes of care and may be helpful in planning clinical trials. They are highly representative of defined populations, but have limited clinical information. Methods have been developed to identify episodes of low back pain and to quantify the severity of unrelated, comorbid medical conditions. Pitfalls in analysis are discussed, including limitations of diagnosis and procedure coding, cross-sectional nature of most data, limited clinical detail, and the necessarily observational (not experimental) nature of any group comparisons. There is growing interest in expanding the clinical information in such databases. for both quality improvement and research purposes. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.