Double-blind control of the data manager doesn't have any impact on data entry reliability and should be considered as an avoidable cost

Davide Mauri, Vasiliki Karampoiki, Jacopo Mauri, Konstantinos Kamposioras, Georgios Alexiou, Georgios Ferentinos, Lamprini Tsali, Ioanna Karathanasi, Christina Peponi, Francisco Javier Rivas Flores, Hilal Altinoz, Marzanna Chojnacka, Irini Karentzou, Camelia Colichi, Tamara Oxiuzova, Eleni Kanavoura, Berta Adelaide Maia Da Silva Alves De Sousa, Diana Ivanova, Mario Dambrosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Database systems have been developed to store data from large medical trials and survey studies. However, a reliable data storage system does not guarantee data entering reliability. We aimed to evaluate if double-blind control of the data manager might have any effect on data-reliability. Our secondary aim was to assess the influence of the inserting position in the insertion-sheet on data-entry accuracy and the effectiveness of electronic controls in identifying data-entering mistakes. Methods. A cross-sectional survey and single data-manager data entry. Data from PACMeR_02 survey, which had been conducted within a framework of the SESy-Europe project (PACMeR_01.4), were used as substrate for this study. We analyzed the electronic storage of 6446 medical charts. We structured data insertion in four sequential phases. After each phase, the data stored in the database were tested in order to detect unreliable entries through both computerized and manual random control. Control was provided in a double blind fashion. Results. Double-blind control of the data manager didn't improve data entry reliability. Entries near the end of the insertion sheet were correlated with a larger number of mistakes. Data entry monitoring by electronic-control was statistically more effective than hand-searching of randomly selected medical records. Conclusion. Double-blind control of the data manager should be considered an avoidable cost. Electronic-control for monitoring of data-entry reliability is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Article number66
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Informatics


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