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Assessing possible selection bias in a national voluntary MS longitudinal study in Australia


Taylor, BV and Palmer, A and Simpson Jr, S and Lucas, R and Simmons, RD and Mason, D and Pearson, J and Clarke, G and Sabel, C and Willoughby, E and Richardson, A and Abernethy, D, NZMSPS study group, Assessing possible selection bias in a national voluntary MS longitudinal study in Australia, Multiple Sclerosis, 19, (12) pp. 1627-1631. ISSN 1352-4585 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Sage Publications

DOI: doi:10.1177/1352458513481511


Background: Surveying volunteer members of a multiple sclerosis registry is a very cost-effective way of assessing the impact of the disease on life outcomes. However, whether the data from such a study can be generalised to the whole population of persons living with MS in a country or region is unclear.

Methods: Here we compare the demographic and disease characteristics of participants in one such study, the Australian Multiple Sclerosis Longitudinal Study (AMSLS), with two well-characterised MS prevalence studies with near-complete ascertainment of MS in their study regions.

Results: Although some differences were found, these largely represented the effects of geography (sex ratios) and local factors (national immunomodulatory therapy prescribing requirements), and the cohorts were otherwise comparable. Overall, despite comprising only 12-16% of MS cases in Australia, the AMSLS is highly representative of the MS population.

Conclusions: Therefore with some minor caveats, the AMSLS data can be generalised to the whole Australasian MS population. Volunteer disease registries such as this can be highly representative and provide an excellent convenience sample when studying rare conditions such as MS.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:outcome measurement, multiple sclerosis, study design
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Taylor, BV (Professor Bruce Taylor)
UTAS Author:Palmer, A (Professor Andrew Palmer)
UTAS Author:Simpson Jr, S (Dr Steve Simpson JR)
ID Code:86215
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:46
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-08-29
Last Modified:2017-11-07

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