Epidemiol Health.  2013;35:e2013006.

The Validity and Reliability of Characterizing Epilepsy Based on an External Review of Medical Records

  • 1Department of Neurology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Neurology, Korea University Medical Center, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Neurology, Eulji University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 5Department of Neurology, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Department of Neurology, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea. leeseoyoung@kangwon.ac.kr


Our goal is to validate diagnosing and characterizing epilepsy based on a medical record survey by external reviewers.
We reviewed medical records from 80 patients who received antiepileptic drugs in 2009 at two hospitals. The study consisted of two steps; data abstraction by certified health record administrators and then verification by the investigators. The gold standard was the results of the survey performed by the epileptologists from their own hospital.
The specificity was more than 90.0% for diagnosis and activity, and for new-onset seizures. The sensitivity was 97.0% or more for diagnosis and activity and 66.7-75.0% for new-onset epilepsy. This method accurately classified epileptic syndromes in 90.2-92.9% of patients, causes in 85.4-92.7%, and age of onset in 78.0-81.0%. Kappa statistics for inter-rater reliability and test-retest reliability ranged from 0.641-0.975, which means substantial to near-perfect agreement in all items.
Our data suggest that epilepsy can be well identified by external review of medical records. This method may be useful as a basis for large-scale epidemiological research.


Validity; Epilepsy; Epidemiology; Sensitivity; Specificity; Reliability
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