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Big data registries in spine surgery research: the lurking dangers


Spine surgery research has improved considerably over the last few decades. Its’ most recent growth is in large part due to the mounting increase in studies conducted using national databases and registries. With easy access to a large number of patients, the benefit of these registries has become evident. However, as with any research, this type of data must be used responsibly with the appropriate strengths and limitations kept in mind. Inappropriate use of these registries continues to be a growing concern as potentially false or inaccurate conclusions can adversely impact clinical practice. It is, therefore, the author and the readers’ responsibility to acknowledge and understand the limitations of this type of data. Knowledge of methodological requirements in the use and analyses of registry data is essential to ensuring quality evidence with proper interpretation.

  • statistics & research methods
  • neurosurgery
  • surgery
  • qualitative research
  • spine

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