Skip to main content
construction release_alert
Scholars@Duke will be undergoing maintenance April 11-15. Some features may be unavailable during this time.
cancel
Journal cover image

Research tool for classifying Gulf War illness using survey responses: Lessons for writing replicable algorithms for symptom-based conditions.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Vahey, J; Hauser, ER; Sims, KJ; Helmer, DA; Provenzale, D; Gifford, EJ
Published in: Life Sci
October 1, 2021

AIMS: Gulf War illness (GWI), a chronic symptom-based disorder, affects up to 30% of Veterans who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War1. Because no diagnostic test or code for GWI exists, researchers typically determine case status using self-reported symptoms and conditions according to Kansas2 and CDC3 criteria. No validated algorithm has been published and case definitions have varied slightly by study. This paper aims to standardize the application of the original CDC and Kansas case definitions by defining a framework for writing reliable code for complex case definitions, implementing this framework on a sample of 1343 Gulf War Veterans (GWVs), and validating the framework by applying the code to a sample of 41,077 GWVs. MAIN METHODS: Methods were drawn from software engineering: write pseudocode, write test cases, and write code; then test code. Code was examined for accuracy, flexibility, replicability, and reusability. KEY FINDINGS: The pseudocode promoted understanding of the planned algorithm, encouraging discussion and leading to agreement on the case definition algorithms among all team members. The completed SAS code was written for and tested in the Gulf War Era Cohort and Biorepository (GWECB)4. This code was adapted and tested in the Million Veteran Program (MVP)5. The code was documented for reproducibility and reusability. SIGNIFICANCE: Ease of reuse suggests that this method could be used to standardize the application of other case definitions, reducing time and resources spent by each study team. Documentation, code, and test cases are available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Phenomics catalog6.

Duke Scholars

Published In

Life Sci

DOI

EISSN

1879-0631

Publication Date

October 1, 2021

Volume

282

Start / End Page

119808

Location

Netherlands

Related Subject Headings

  • Veterans
  • Pharmacology & Pharmacy
  • Persian Gulf Syndrome
  • Male
  • Humans
  • Gulf War
  • Cohort Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Algorithms
  • 3214 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
NLM
Vahey, J., Hauser, E. R., Sims, K. J., Helmer, D. A., Provenzale, D., & Gifford, E. J. (2021). Research tool for classifying Gulf War illness using survey responses: Lessons for writing replicable algorithms for symptom-based conditions. Life Sci, 282, 119808. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119808
Vahey, Jacqueline, Elizabeth R. Hauser, Kellie J. Sims, Drew A. Helmer, Dawn Provenzale, and Elizabeth J. Gifford. “Research tool for classifying Gulf War illness using survey responses: Lessons for writing replicable algorithms for symptom-based conditions.Life Sci 282 (October 1, 2021): 119808. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119808.
Vahey J, Hauser ER, Sims KJ, Helmer DA, Provenzale D, Gifford EJ. Research tool for classifying Gulf War illness using survey responses: Lessons for writing replicable algorithms for symptom-based conditions. Life Sci. 2021 Oct 1;282:119808.
Vahey, Jacqueline, et al. “Research tool for classifying Gulf War illness using survey responses: Lessons for writing replicable algorithms for symptom-based conditions.Life Sci, vol. 282, Oct. 2021, p. 119808. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119808.
Vahey J, Hauser ER, Sims KJ, Helmer DA, Provenzale D, Gifford EJ. Research tool for classifying Gulf War illness using survey responses: Lessons for writing replicable algorithms for symptom-based conditions. Life Sci. 2021 Oct 1;282:119808.
Journal cover image

Published In

Life Sci

DOI

EISSN

1879-0631

Publication Date

October 1, 2021

Volume

282

Start / End Page

119808

Location

Netherlands

Related Subject Headings

  • Veterans
  • Pharmacology & Pharmacy
  • Persian Gulf Syndrome
  • Male
  • Humans
  • Gulf War
  • Cohort Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Algorithms
  • 3214 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences