Table 2:

DataSchema variable “Ever had colonoscopy”; example of cohort-specific questions and related harmonization potentials

DataSchema variable: ever had colonoscopy
Description: indicator of whether the participant has ever had a colonoscopy
Format: categorical
Categories: 0 = never had a colonoscopy, 1 = ever had a colonoscopy
Specific questions used by participating cohortsHarmonization status
Format A (used in 1 data set)
Have you ever had a colonoscopy?
[ ] No; [ ] Yes; [ ] Prefer not to answer; [ ] Don’t know
Complete (direct match to the DataSchema variable, but the “Prefer not to answer” and “Don’t know” categories classified as missing)
Format B (used in 6 data sets)
When was the last time you had a colonoscopy? A colonoscopy is an exam where a long tube is used to examine the entire colon. Before the procedure is done, you are usually given a sedative.
[ ] Less than 6 mo ago; [ ] 6 mo to less than 1 yr ago; [ ] 1 yr to less than 2 yr ago; [ ] 2 yr to less than 3 ys ago; [ ] 3 or more yr ago; [ ] Never; [ ] Don’t know; [ ] I prefer not to answer
Complete (algorithm combining multiple categories developed)
Format C (used in 5 data sets)
Have you ever had a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy? These are tests where a long tube is inserted into the rectum to view the bowel for early signs of cancer and other health problems.
[ ] Yes; [ ] No; [ ] Don’t know; [ ] Prefer not to answer
Incomplete (colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy are integrated in the question)