TableĀ 2

Overview of identified key issues and how they triangulate across the literature review and the three studies

Key findingLiterature reviewInterviewsFocus groupsDelphi survey
Limited knowledge of available databases.AgreementAgreementAgreementAgreement
Understanding of pharmacovigilance based on WHO definition.Not addressedPartial agreementPartial agreementNot addressed
Limitations of current pharmacovigilance systems.Not addressedAgreementAgreementNot addressed
Data linkage is useful for pharmacovigilance research.AgreementAgreementPartial agreementPartial agreement
Adherence to legislation is necessary.AgreementAgreementAgreementNot addressed
It is not clear which legislation is relevant.Partial agreementAgreementAgreementNot addressed
Data quality is important for data linkage.AgreementAgreementAgreementPartial agreement
The responsibility for the linked data lies with the data owner.SilenceAgreementPartial agreementSilence
Data ownership needs to be clarified.Partial agreementAgreementSilenceAgreement
The NHS should be a facilitator of the data linkage.SilencePartial agreementAgreementDisagreement
The benefits of the data linkage outweigh the risks.Partial agreementAgreementPartial agreementDisagreement*
Professional guidelines might prevent data sharing.SilenceAgreementPartial agreementDisagreement
Conditional support if data linkage available.AgreementAgreementAgreementAgreement
Information governance is a facilitator of data linkage.AgreementAgreementAgreementAgreement
Feedback from studies using the linked data is a facilitator.AgreementSilenceAgreementAgreement
Anonymisation is mandatory.Partial agreementPartial agreementAgreementAgreement
Information of and input from the public is important.AgreementAgreementAgreementAgreement
An opt-out option for patients is acceptable.AgreementPartial agreementPartial agreementAgreement
Technical problems can be solved.AgreementAgreementAgreementAgreement
Use of CHI number is acceptable.SilenceAgreementAgreementAgreement
Safeguards like sanctions should be used.AgreementAgreementPartial agreementSilence
Ethical approval will be required.AgreementAgreementAgreementAgreement
Data linkage should not impact negatively on current workload.AgreementAgreementAgreementAgreement
A certain amount of patient identifiable data will be necessary for the linkage.AgreementAgreementAgreementSilence
Assurance of confidentiality would facilitate support.AgreementPartial agreementPartial agreementAgreement
  • Bold font indicates agreement across three or more arms.

  • Agreement: key finding has been identified; partial agreement: finding is partially covered; disagreement: contradictory statement; silence: not apparent; not addressed: subject not addressed in study.

  • *Disagreement only in the way that this was mentioned but dropped across the rounds, indicating that there was no consensus on this item, hence disagreement rather than silence.

  • CHI, Community Health Index.