Cross-sectional and prospective data-collection in North Macedonia-methodological considerations

Emil Kostovski, Vesna Miloshevska Jakimovska, Ingeborg Beate Lidal, Fin Biering-Sørensen

    2 Citationer (Scopus)


    Study design: Cross-sectional and prospective cohort-study.

    Objectives: To describe methodological issues, experienced challenges related to data collection in North Macedonia and to discuss possible improvements of epidemiological data collection in future studies.

    Setting: Clinic for Traumatology, Orthopedics, Anesthesia, Reanimation, Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Center, Mother Teresa Skopje University Hospital, Skopje and community settings, North Macedonia.

    Method: A description of methodological challenges experienced in collecting data from 78 persons with acute and chronic traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) examined and interviewed in 2015-2017 using a semiquantitative questionnaire and standard assessments tools.

    Results: This study identified three major challenges with data collection in this setting: (1) research logistics and procedures, such as recruitment, infrastructure, and compensation, (2) ethical issues and the initial lack of mutual trust and understanding between researchers and participants, and (3) scientific quality and interpretation, including representativeness.

    Conclusions: Methodological issues influenced by settings, are important to consider when interpreting study results. Healthcare systems vary between (and sometimes in) countries, language and culture may introduce barriers to understanding, and epidemiological research also rely on infrastructure and surroundings. For this study, making time for and listening to the participants without being intruding was of special importance in building trust and a good relationship with the participants during recruiting participants and collecting data. We here provide suggestions regarding how to facilitate future epidemiological data collections in North Macedonia.

    TidsskriftSpinal cord series and cases
    Sider (fra-til)58
    Antal sider1
    StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 2019


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