Research Article

Do most practices have an age-sex register? Results of the West Midlands age-sex register study.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: (Published 16 November 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:1391
  1. R F Cooper


    A cross sectional study based on all (1260) general practices in the West Midlands was conducted in late 1984 and early 1985. Responses to a postal questionnaire were received from 762 (60.5%) practices, and of these, 387 (50.8%) stated that they had an age-sex register; 104 (13.6%) practices replied that they had definite plans to establish an age-sex register within six months, and a random sample of these was later telephoned to see if the plans had come to fruition. A random telephone sample was also made from the 498 (39.5%) non-responders. It was concluded that the current prevalence of age-sex registers in the West Midlands is 52% (+/- 5% for 95% confidence) of all practices. A register has now been established of 422 practices (35.5% of the total number in the West Midlands) that have an age-sex register. This is being used as a database for other research. The most common reason stated for not having an age-sex register was that it would be too time consuming. Most of the practices that had one stated that it was used for research, disease recording, screening, surveillance, or health education, which implies that the registers are being used.