Developing a survey instrument to assess the readiness of primary care data, genetic and disease registries to conduct linked research: TRANSFoRm International Research Readiness (TIRRE) survey instrument

Emily Leppenwell, Simon de Lusignan, Marilia Tristan Vicente, Georgios Michalakidis, Paul Krause, Steve Thompson, Mark McGilchrist, Terry Desombre, Adel Taweel, Brendan Delaney


Background Clinical data are collected for routine care in family practice; there are also a growing number of genetic and cancer registry data repositories. The Translational Research and Patient Safety in Europe (TRANSFoRm) project seeks to facilitate research using linked data from more than one source. We performed a requirements analysis which identified a wide range of data and business process requirements that need to be met before linking primary care and either genetic or disease registry data.

Objectives To develop a survey to assess the readiness of data repositories to participate in linked research – the Transform International Research Readiness (TIRRE) survey.

Method We develop the questionnaire based on our requirement analysis; with questions at micro-, meso- and macro levels of granularity, study-specific questions about diabetes and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), and research track record. The scope of the data required was extensive. We piloted this instrument, conducting ten preliminary telephone interviews to evaluate the response to the questionnaire.

Results Using feedback gained from these interviews we revised the questionnaire; clarifying questions that were difficult to answer and utilising skip logic to create different series of questions for the various types of data repository. We simplified the questionnaire replacing free-text responses with yes/no or picking list options, wherever possible. We placed the final questionnaire online and encouraged its use (

Conclusion Limited field testing suggests that TIRRE is capable of collecting comprehensive and relevant data about the suitability and readiness of data repositories to participate in linked data research.


computerised medical record systems; data collection; diabetes mellitus; general practice; genetic databases; medical informatics; oesophageal diseases; primary health care; registries

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