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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

6 - Using ART Surveillance Data in Clinical Research

from Section 3 - Using ART Surveillance Data

Summary

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) surveillance data are important for assessing ART effectiveness and safety. Cycle-level and patient-level data allow the most detailed analysis. In using these data for research, it is important to recognize the strengths and limitations of surveillance data. The large sample size can facilitate precise estimation of the relationships between patient or treatment factors and outcomes, as well as permit detection of rare outcomes and trends over time. However, these databases may have limited detail compared with those designed specifically for research. Surveillance data allow the researcher to assess associations, but cannot prove causation. Appropriate strategies should be employed to address and communicate the limitations whenever possible. ART surveillance data should be available to interested and responsible researchers. Continued efforts to expand ART surveillance to additional countries will benefit the diverse population of women and men who are attempting to build their families using ART.