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Linkage bias in estimating the association between childhood exposures and propensity to become a mother: an example of simple sensitivity analyses

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Record linkage is a powerful tool to obtain individual follow-up information that is held in routinely collected databases. However, this method is potentially limited not only by the quality of the original data but also by the temporal and geographic coverage of the routine data. Migration in particular is a factor that might introduce systematic bias even in analyses of data covering relatively large geographical areas. We describe a linkage application where emigration bias might be an issue and use the sensitivity analysis approach that has been described by Molenberghs and co-workers and Kenward and co-workers to assess the extent of this bias.
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Keywords: Interval of uncertainty; Misclassification; Missing data; Record linkage; Sensitivity analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK 2: University of Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: 01 July 2006

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