My project aimed to maximise the benefit of routine data for asthma research and surveillance.
Asthma is one of the commonest life-long diseases in Wales with significant clinical and financial burden. In order to better understand the disease impact and improve the service, up-to-date nationwide data on asthma are needed.
I developed Wales Asthma Observatory as a data-intensive platform for asthma research and surveillance. I used large amounts of linked, anonymised electronic health record (EHR) data in the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank of Wales. The Observatory includes research-ready variables that describe several asthma definitions and outcomes.
I focused on the challenge of identifying people with asthma using routine data. I highlighted variations and suboptimal reporting on how asthma has been defined and assessed in routine data studies. In the Observatory, I used clustering methods to understand the underlying structure of the Welsh population in order to identify people with asthma.
I also demonstrated the Observatory utility for health policy by investigating inequalities of asthma care in Wales.
The Observatory can support a wide range of asthma studies including testing new treatment strategies, up-to-date monitoring of asthma outcomes and burden across Wales, and planning and evaluation of asthma services.
My research interests are asthma epidemiology, clustering, latent class analysis, analysis of linked health data, clinical coding systems, and research reproducibility.
Al Sallakh, MA, Vasileiou E, et al. Defining asthma and assessing asthma outcomes using electronic health record data: a systematic scoping review. European Respiratory Journal. 49.6 (2017), 1700204.
MA Al Sallakh, SE Rodgers, RA Lyons, A Sheikh, GA Davies. Identifying patients with asthma-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease overlap syndrome using latent class analysis of electronic health record data: a study protocol. npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine 28.1 (2018), 22.
MA Al Sallakh, SE Rodgers, RA Lyons, A Sheikh, GA Davies. A tool to improve the efficiency and reproducibility of research using electronic health record databases. Informatics for Health 2017.
MA Al Sallakh, SE Rodgers, RA Lyons, A Sheikh, GA Davies. Socioeconomic deprivation and inequalities in asthma care in Wales (abstract). The Lancet 390 (2017): S19.
MA Al Sallakh, SE Rodgers, RA Lyons, A Sheikh, GA Davies. Making sense of patient-reported currently treated asthma using routinely collected data. British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting 2016. Thorax 71 (Suppl 3, 2016), A163-A164.
MA Al Sallakh, SE Rodgers, RA Lyons, A Sheikh, GA Davies. Early predictors of quiescent asthma in late childhood. European Respiratory Society International Congress 2016. European Respiratory Journal 48 (suppl 60, 2016), PA322.
MA Al Sallakh, SE Rodgers, RA Lyons, A Sheikh, GA Davies. Effect of incomplete registration at general practices on the annual prevalence of treated asthma. International Population Data Linkage Conference 2016.
M Al Sallakh, SE Rodgers, RA Lyons, A Sheikh, GA Davies. Identifying asthma patients in Wales using latent class analysis of routine data. British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting 2015. Thorax 70 (Suppl 3, 2015), A190-A191.
The Wales Asthma Observatory project was funded by the Health and Care Research Wales and the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board.