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Performance of automated and manual coding systems for occupational data: a case study of historical records.

TitlePerformance of automated and manual coding systems for occupational data: a case study of historical records.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPatel MD, Rose KM, Owens CR, Bang H
Secondary AuthorsKaufman JS
JournalAm J Ind Med
Volume55
Issue3
Pagination228-31
Date Published2012 Mar
ISSN1097-0274
KeywordsBirth Certificates, Censuses, Clinical Coding, Electronic Data Processing, Forms and Records Control, Humans, Occupations, Software
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Occupational data are a common source of workplace exposure and socioeconomic information in epidemiologic research. We compared the performance of two occupation coding methods, an automated software and a manual coder, using occupation and industry titles from U.S. historical records.

METHODS: We collected parental occupational data from 1920-40s birth certificates, Census records, and city directories on 3,135 deceased individuals in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Unique occupation-industry narratives were assigned codes by a manual coder and the Standardized Occupation and Industry Coding software program. We calculated agreement between coding methods of classification into major Census occupational groups.

RESULTS: Automated coding software assigned codes to 71% of occupations and 76% of industries. Of this subset coded by software, 73% of occupation codes and 69% of industry codes matched between automated and manual coding. For major occupational groups, agreement improved to 89% (kappa = 0.86).

CONCLUSIONS: Automated occupational coding is a cost-efficient alternative to manual coding. However, some manual coding is required to code incomplete information. We found substantial variability between coders in the assignment of occupations although not as large for major groups.

DOI10.1002/ajim.22005
Alternate JournalAm J Ind Med
PubMed ID22420026
PubMed Central IDPMC3316486
Grant ListHHSN268201100012C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100010C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100008C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005G / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL081627-03 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100008I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100007C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL081627 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HSN268201100006C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100010C / / PHS HHS / United States
R01-HL081627 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100008C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100012C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100007C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100007I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HSN268201100009C / / PHS HHS / United States