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Table 3 Data collection procedures of the participating GP networks in the EURO SENTIMELC study 2009-2010

From: Nationwide continuous monitoring of end-of-life care via representative networks of general practitioners in Europe

Data collection procedures Belgium The Netherlands Italy Spain
Frequency and mode of reporting Weekly reporting Paper and pencil Weekly reporting Paper and pencil Weekly reporting online web based registration (Emailing with memo sent weekly) No weekly reporting: deaths are reported the week of the event; however GPs are used to send in a weekly report form on other health problems
     Paper and pencil for Castilly y Léon; electronic registry for Valencia
Extra quality control measures -selection of regular participating GPs (registered 26 weeks or more of one year) -selection of regular participating GPs (registered 26 weeks or more of one year) -it concerned a new network only involving GPs that agreed to participate for a whole year -selection of regular participating GPs (registered 26 weeks or more of one year)
  -data entry by the Institute of Public Health using dbase-based programme to prevent key punching errors, double data entry by VUB -data entry by researchers, 5% with double data entry -web based application needing no data entry and ensuring all necessary items are filled in -data entry by province coordinators, using dbase-based programme to prevent key punching errors; no double data entry
-automatic follow-up forms to prevent missing data for key variables; telephone contact with GP also possible -reminders send by NIVEL after checking for missing data on key variables; if necessary telephone contact with GP -weekly reminders (an e-mail with a memo was sent weekly to assure the ready reporting of deceased cases) -reminders to GPs when missing data or inconsistencies
-GPs received summaries of all reported deaths after each year of registration (2005–2006 to verify for possible non-response (e.g. GPs who forgot to report one of their deaths) -GPs have patient lists -GPs have patient lists -GPs have patient lists
Anonymity procedures -anonimization of patient data upon data entry -anonimization of patient data upon data entry -anonimization of patient data when registering -anonimization of patient data upon data entry in Castilla and after data recording in Valencia
  -anonimization of physician data when closing database -anonimization of physician data when closing database -anonimization of physician data when closing database -anonimization of physician data when closing database
Training for GPs -registration instructions each year -registration instructions each year -registration instructions via coordinating GPs per health district at the beginning of the year -registration instructions each year
  -yearly individualized feedback on basic parameters -yearly presenting of results on meeting of participating GPs   -yearly individualized feedback on basic parameters