DCE research services

About the Research Services

The Department of Clinical Epidemiology is an academic department within Aarhus University/Aarhus University Hospital that provides a wide range of research services to government institutions, biotech companies, and regulators. Specifically, DCE monitors clinical quality for the Danish government; carries out regulator-mandated studies of drug utilization, safety and risk minimisation; and conducts studies to evaluate background rates of diseases for biotech companies to support development and evaluation of new treatments.

Each research project is assigned a team consisting of a coordinator, an epidemiologist, and a statistician, who shepherd the project from planning though the implementation stages to publication of the results. DCE draws on its network of international collaborators in academia, clinic, and industry to conduct large-scale international studies.

Study Planning

Presented with study aims, the study team, together with the sponsors and other stakeholders, is involved in detailed study planning.
• Select appropriate and efficient study design
• Determine measurements required to address study aims
• Identify optimal data sources to obtain the necessary measurements (population-based registries, laboratory information systems, biobanks, or primary data collection)
• Find potential collaborators and subcontractors

Study Coordination and Implementation

The project coordinator serves as a liaison between study sponsors, collaborators, and subcontractors and ensures that the study is implemented according to the protocol and on schedule.
• Develop study timeline with milestones and completion dates
• Establish and maintain a communication strategy
• Monitor study progress via regular updates
• Maintain and continuously update study documentation

Data Collection and Data Management

A typical study requires data linkage from several data sources, including population-based registries, clinical databases, laboratory information systems, and study-specific databases.
• Link records from multiple and diverse data sources
• Sample source populations: stratified sampling, matching, risk-set sampling, general-population sampling
• Develop and maintain study-specific databases for primary data collection
• Document, control, and archive data management procedures

Adjudication and Validation

Over years, researchers at DCE have developed and validated numerous algorithms. Published results of this validation are used to support interpretation of research findings.
• Develop adjudication forms and operation manuals
• Identify expert physician adjudicators
• Abstract medical charts
• Track and record adjudication and validation results
• Analyse results of adjudication and validation

Statistical Analysis

Our in-house staff of 25 biostatisticians has extensive experience in analyses of data linked from diverse data sources. Over years, the statisticians created, validated and fine-tuned an extensive library of SAS and STATA programs and macros, which can be customized to a given project aim.
• Develop statistical analysis plan and codebooks
• Provide expert advice on statistical methods
• Generate tables, figures, and listings according to a prespecified format
• Analyse data for reports and peer reviewed manuscripts

Publications and Presentations

Dissemination of research findings is a top priority of DCE.
• Create presentations
• Draft and review scientific manuscripts
• Coordinate publication timelines and author teams

Selected publications:

1: Nørgaard M, Jensen AØ, Jacobsen JB, Cetin K, Fryzek JP, Sørensen HT. Skeletal related events, bone metastasis and survival of prostate cancer: a population based cohort study in Denmark (1999 to 2007). J Urol. 2010 Jul;184(1):162-7.

2: Nørgaard M, Jensen AØ, Engebjerg MC, Farkas DK, Thomsen RW, Cha S, Zhao S, Sørensen HT. Long-term clinical outcomes of patients with primary chronic immune thrombocytopenia: a Danish population-based cohort study. Blood. 2011 Mar 31;117(13):3514-20.

3: Johannesdottir SA, Christiansen CF, Johansen MB, Olsen M, Xu X, Parker JM, Molfino NA, Lash TL, Fryzek JP. Hospitalization with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and associated health resource utilization:a population-based Danish cohort study. J Med Econ. 2013 Jul;16(7):897-906.

4: Thomsen RW, Schoonen WM, Farkas DK, Riis A, Jacobsen J, Fryzek JP, Sørensen HT. Risk for hospital contact with infection in patients with splenectomy: a population-based cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2009 Oct 20;151(8):546-55.

5: de Luise C, Lanes SF, Jacobsen J, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT. Cardiovascular and respiratory hospitalizations and mortality among users of tiotropium in Denmark. Eur J Epidemiol. 2007;22:267-72.