Database use in psychiatric research: An international review

N Higgins, L Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Whilst database use for the purposes of audit is well established amongst clinicians, their research potential has yet to be fully realised. This review provides an international perspective on research using databases in psychiatry, considering the advantages and constraints of their use. Method: Large databases used in psychiatric research were identified through a systematic search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases. The types of research conducted with these databases were then grouped into categories for discussion. A narrative synthesis of results is presented. illustrated with examples. Results: Research identified included pharmacoepidemiology, perinatal, aetiological, suicidology and health service research. Conclusions: Databases have been used to address a range of questions ill psychiatry, often by employing linkage between clinical and national administrative databases. The success of such research is not only dependent oil appropriate methodology and database design, but also on clinician commitment to data entry. Further exploitation of linkage potential between databases is envisaged, alongside international development of clinical databases designed with the purpose of research in mind
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


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