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INTRODUCTION: Several forces are contributing to an increase in the number of people living with and surviving colorectal cancer (CRC). However, due to the lack of available data, little is known about the implications of these forces. In recent years, the use of administrative records to inform research has been increasing. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential contribution that administrative data could have on the health economic research of CRC. METHODS: To achieve this aim, we conducted a systematic review of the health economic CRC literature published in the United Kingdom and Europe within the last decade (2009-2019). RESULTS: Thirty-seven relevant studies were identified and divided into economic evaluations, cost of illness studies and cost consequence analyses. CONCLUSIONS: The use of administrative data, including cancer registry, screening and hospital records, within the health economic research of CRC is commonplace. However, we found that this data often come from regional databases, which reduces the generalisability of results. Further, administrative data appear less able to contribute towards understanding the wider and indirect costs associated with the disease. We explore several ways in which various sources of administrative data could enhance future research in this area.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cancer Care (Engl)

Publication Date



administrative data, bowel cancer, colorectal cancer, costs, health economic research, systematic review