Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: case reporting at a university hospital
Andrew Picken, BA
Robert Plona, RN
Pamela Parker, RN
John T. Carey, MD
Michael M. Lederman, MDAddress reprint requests to M.M.L., Division of Infectious Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4984.
Planning and allocating resources for care of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) requires accurate assessment of disease incidence.OBJECTIVE
To assess the accuracy and completeness of AIDS case reporting at our institution, we reviewed all inpatient and outpatient records of patients with AIDS seen at University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio, between January 1983 and July 1990.METHODS
The patients were identified through review of hospital discharge summaries, ambulatory clinic listings, and laboratory identification of opportunistic infections.RESULTS
We found that 24 of 291 AIDS cases (8%) seen at this institution had not been reported to state health departments. Of the 24 patients with unreported AIDS, 16 had received an AIDS diagnosis at other institutions, 11 had never been hospitalized at this institution, and 2 had used pseudonyms.CONCLUSIONS
Review of AIDS case reporting can ascertain the magnitude of underreporting; the profile of patients who were unreported may be used to evaluate the accuracy of reporting elsewhere and to identify systematic problems in case reporting methods.