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Insurance data for research in companion animals: benefits and limitations.

Egenvall, A, Nødtvedt, A, Penell, J, Gunnarsson, L and Bonnett, BN (2009) Insurance data for research in companion animals: benefits and limitations. Acta Vet Scand, 51.

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The primary aim of this article is to review the use of animal health insurance data in the scientific literature, especially in regard to morbidity or mortality in companion animals and horses. Methods and results were compared among studies on similar health conditions from different nations and years. A further objective was to critically evaluate benefits and limitations of such databases, to suggest ways to maximize their utility and to discuss the future use of animal insurance data for research purposes. Examples of studies on morbidity, mortality and survival estimates in dogs and horses, as well as neoplasia in dogs, are discussed.We conclude that insurance data can and should be used for research purposes in companion animals and horses. Insurance data have been successfully used, e.g. to quantify certain features that may have been hitherto assumed, but unmeasured. Validation of insurance databases is necessary if they are to be used in research. This must include the description of the insured population and an evaluation of the extent to which it represents the source population. Data content and accuracy must be determined over time, including the accuracy/consistency of diagnostic information. Readers must be cautioned as to limitations of the databases and, as always, critically appraise findings and synthesize information with other research. Similar findings from different study designs provide stronger evidence than a sole report. Insurance data can highlight common, expensive and severe conditions that may not be evident from teaching hospital case loads but may be significant burdens on the health of a population.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Egenvall, A
Nødtvedt, A
Gunnarsson, L
Bonnett, BN
Date : 2009
DOI : 10.1186/1751-0147-51-42
Uncontrolled Keywords : Animals, Databases, Factual, Insurance, Insurance Benefits, Medical Records, Neoplasms, Periodicals as Topic, Research, Veterinary Medicine
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 10:19
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 18:58

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