Implementation of inclusion and exclusion criteria in clinical studies in OHDSI ATLAS software




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Clinical trials are essential parts of a medical study process, but studies are often cancelled due to a lack of participants. Clinical Trial Recruitment Support Systems are systems that help to increase the number of participants by seeking more suitable subjects. The software ATLAS (developed by Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics) can support the launch of a clinical trial by building cohorts of patients who fulfill certain criteria. The correct use of medical classification systems aiming at clearly defined inclusion and exclusion criteria in the studies is an important pillar of this software. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether ATLAS can be used in a Clinical Trial Recruitment Support System to portray the eligibility criteria of clinical studies. Our analysis considered the number of criteria feasible for integration with ATLAS and identified its strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, we investigated whether nonrepresentable criteria were associated with the utilized terminology systems. We analyzed ATLAS using 223 objective eligibility criteria from 30 randomly selected trials conducted in the last 10 years. In the next step, we selected appropriate ICD, OPS, LOINC, or ATC codes to feed the software. We classified each criterion and study based on its implementation capability in the software, ensuring a clear and logical progression of information. Based on our observations, 51% of the analyzed inclusion criteria were fully implemented in ATLAS. Within our selected example set, 10% of the studies were classified as fully portrayable, and 73% were portrayed to some extent. Additionally, we conducted an evaluation of the software regarding its technical limitations and interaction with medical classification systems. To improve and expand the scope of criteria within a cohort definition in a practical setting, it is recommended to work closely with personnel involved in the study to define the criteria precisely and to carefully select terminology systems. The chosen criteria should be combined according to the specific setting. Additional work is needed to specify the significance and amount of the extracted criteria.




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Scientific reports 13 (2023), 1 - 11, 22457




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