I am just a beginner at this, trying to understand the process and the terminology. I certainly don't have the skills or experience myself to get involved with the databases myself anytime soon. At this time I mainly trying to imagine how to best formulate a question that would be interesting and practical for someone like yourself to get interested in.
So.. my employer sells software to do cognitive tests. We have a lot of customers in the academic research community who do laboratory based measures of cognition, and sometimes also interview the subjects about their cognitive capabilities in everyday life as part of that office-based assessment. However, there has always been a question about how relevant this type of research is to patients performance in everyday life. As with investigating many psychological issues, the problem is that any attempt to measure performance in everyday life inevitably involves interfering in some way, which can change the very behavior you are trying to measure.
In listening to Patrick Ryan it occurred to me that perhaps it would be possible to get a different type of estimate of how important cognitive problems are to patients with mental health or neurological problems from analysing the type of issues that they discuss with their doctors. Obviously there is also an interest in this community for looking at the effects of interventions, and there are certainly "hot topics" of that nature, such as do antidepressants improve cognition in people with MDD.
The kind of fundamental questions that are going in my mind, are things like:
What kind of words do patients use to discuss cognitive problems with their doctors? And are these found in the various databases in OHDSI? How do we find out?
Can we use Alzheimer's disease as a "gold standard"? After all people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease should have complained to their doctors about memory difficulties. Or ADHD? The medical records of patients with ADHD should contain references to attention problems, but perhaps also other terms like restlessness or "easily distracted" or "can't focus" which are not exactly the same thing but represent the type of information which I have seen in doctors summaries of patients problems.
Does this sound interesting to you?