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Qualitative analysis of the coding of pathological data of cancer registry centers: A study in North of Iran

PLoS One. 2023 Sep 15;18(9):e0291139. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0291139. eCollection 2023.


BACKGROUND: The cancer registry system is an important part of the cancer control program. Improper coding of cancers leads to misclassification and incorrect statistical information about cancer. Therefore, in this study, the main objective of the qualitative analysis was the accuracy in assigning the codes to the pathological reports in the centers responsible for cancer registry.

METHODS: This study was descriptive, retrospective and applied. The data source in this study included 15,659 pathology reports received during the years 2017-2019 in the population-based cancer registry centers of Mazandaran province. Out of 1800 reports, 1765 samples of reports were selected and analysis was done on them by stratified random sampling method. A researcher-made checklist was used to collect data, and the Kappa agreement coefficient and Cohen’s agreement percentage were presented to check the accuracy of the reports. STATA13 was used for data analysis.

RESULTS: 1150 of 1765 pathology reports (65.0%), did not have a topographic, morphological and behavioral codes and 410 (23.2%) had grade codes. The Kappa coefficient in reports with a topography code was 0.916 and with a morphology code it was 0.929, respectively. In behavior coding, the highest agreement is in the category of benign cancers at 65.2% and in grade coding in the category without grade is 100%.

CONCLUSION: The most reports were on carcinoma morphology, and the Kappa coefficient in morphology codes has almost complete reliability. In terms of behavior coding, there was the most agreement in the category of benign cancers. The Kappa coefficient in given behavior codes has low reliability.

PMID:37713374 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0291139

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