A systematic review and meta-analysis of data linkage between motor vehicle crash and hospital-based datasets

Sajjad Karimi, Aryan Hosseinzadeh, Robert Kluger, Teng Wang, Reginald Souleyrette, Ed Harding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motor vehicle crash data linkage has emerged as a vital tool to better understand the injury outcomes and the factors contributing to crashes. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to explore the existing knowledge on data linkage between motor vehicle crashes and hospital-based datasets, summarize and highlight the findings of previous studies, and identify gaps in research. A comprehensive and systematic search of the literature yielded 54 studies for a qualitative analysis, and 35 of which were also considered for a quantitative meta-analysis. Findings highlight a range of viable methodologies for linking datasets, including manual, deterministic, probabilistic, and integrative methods. Designing a linkage method that integrates different algorithms and techniques is more likely to result in higher match rate and fewer errors. Examining the results of the meta-analysis reveals that a wide range of linkage rates were reported. There are several factors beyond the approach that affect the linkage rate including the size and coverage of both datasets and the linkage variables. Gender, age, crash type, and roadway geometry at the crash site were likely to be associated with a record's presence in a linked dataset. Linkage rate alone is not the only important metric and when linkage rate is used as a metric in research, both police and hospital rates should be reported. This study also highlights the importance of examining and accounting for population and bias introduced by linking two datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107461
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd


  • Crash data linkage
  • Crash injury surveillance
  • Crash-Hospital linkage
  • Data linkage rate
  • Meta-analysis
  • Motor vehicle crashes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Law


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