[EpiData-list] R, EpiInfo and opensource software

epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca
Wed Sep 29 15:19:55 CDT 2010

  Dear colleagues

In response to the mails of last week regarding R and combination to 
EpiData software I would like to state the following:

The way I see EpiData software playing a role in the coming 10 years is 
like this:

a. Ensure full compliance with proper data documentation procedures and 
compliance with GCP guide lines (Good Clinical Practice) for medical 
studies, where certain requirements are imposed on the data management. 
These are explained in the paper: GCP-compliant data management in 
multinational clinical trials. ECRIN-2, Deliverable D10, Version 1, 15 
September 2008.Ohmann C (chair) and the Transnational Working Group on 
Data Management.  I participated in the workgroup. The paper can be 
downloaded from: http://www.ecrin.org/index.php?id=274

b. Fulfill data entry needs at the basic level in local levels giving 
full control over the process by the persons running projects or routine 
systems at that level

c. Perform analysis of quantitative data at the basic and extended 
levels within principles of univariate, bivariate levels and further 
levels in respect to stratified epidemiological analysis (M-H 
techniques), controlled analysis in survival (log rank and k-m plots)  etc.

d. Bridge to other software for extending this analysis to current 
expected levels of regression or survival analysis, e.g. repeated 
measures models or logistic regression.

e. The software should be easy to use for all users. Beginners as well 
as support the needs for advanced usage based on more complex principles.

For point d I think an optimal strategy would be to bridge into R as the 
tool. (and to export documented data into commercial software such as 
user community supportive products such as Stata). Such that the steep 
learning curve for R is bypassed for standard analysis. This also allows 
for simplification of the programming for EpiData.

In other words - I see definetely - a path as suggested of a combination 
of R and EpiData. If someone have or could prepare a document of 
principles of calling batch procedures from other software into R please 
let us know on this list. We will need this sometime in spring next 
year, when other aspects of this are in place.

Jens Lauritsen
EpiData Association

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