audit_cc: a Stata command for the analysis of matched case-control audits of cervical cancer screening

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Abstract

Background and objectives: Cervical screening programmes are crucial for the early diagnosis and prevention of cancer of the cervix. Regular auditing is vital for ensuring that these programmes achieve their full potential and meet their objectives in practice. Unfortunately, the time and skills required for the statistical analysis of the data collected are often important limiting factors. Comparisons across countries and over time have also been particularly difficult due to a lack of standardized definitions and methodology. We aimed to overcome these problems. Methods: Using the statistical software Stata, we developed a new command called audit_cc for the analysis of matched case-control audits of cervical cancer screening. Analyses are reported for two measures of screening history: time since last test and time since last negative test. Results: The command carries out the data manipulation which is required for the analysis and allows to save the resulting data set in an external file for further investigations. It promotes consistent evaluations of screening programmes over time and across studies and facilitates the creation of automatic publication-quality reports, which are especially useful in the context of routine audits. Conclusions: audit_cc is a valid tool that not only simplifies the analysis and reporting of cervical screening audits but also allows meaningful international comparisons. Although it is specific for cervical cancer, it can be seen as an example of how the standardisation of exposure definitions and key methodological issues can enable consistent and comparable evaluations of screening programmes across different countries and settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101182
JournalInformatics in Medicine Unlocked
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2023

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