From Health Research to Social Research: Privacy, Methods, Approaches

ArticleinSocial Science & Medicine 66(1):117-29 · February 2008with4 Reads
Impact Factor: 2.89 · DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.08.017 · Source: PubMed

Information-rich environments in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have been built using record linkage techniques with population-based health insurance systems and longitudinal administrative data. This paper discusses the issues in extending population-based administrative data from health to additional topics more generally connected with well being. The scope of work associated with a multi-faceted American survey, the Panel Study in Income Dynamics (PSID), is compared with that of the administrative data in Manitoba, Canada. Both the PSID and the Manitoba database go back over 30 years, include families, and have good information on residential location. The PSID has emphasized research design to maximize the opportunities associated with expensive primary data collection. Information-rich environments such as that in Manitoba depend on registries and record linkage to increase the range of variables available for analysis. Using new databases on education and income assistance to provide information on the whole Manitoba population has involved linking files while preserving privacy, scaling educational achievement, assessing exposure to a given neighborhood, and measuring family circumstances. Questions being studied concern the role of the socioeconomic gradient and infant health in child development, the comparative influence of family and neighborhood in later well being, and the long-term effects of poverty reduction. Issues of organization of research, gaps in the data, and productivity are discussed.

    • "DPIN is a centralized system used to process all outpatient prescriptions in Manitoba. This linked data provides relatively complete population data for Manitoba's 1.3 million people and is routinely used in administrative database studies [14][15][16]. The number of oral meperidine prescriptions, users, days of treatment as prescribed, and defined daily doses (DDD) dispensed were determined. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Meperidine (pethidine) is an opioid analgesic that offers little advantage relative to other opioids and several disadvantages including limited potency, short duration of action, and the production of a neurotoxic metabolite (normeperidine) with a long half-life. Older adults are more sensitive to meperidine’s side effects and may have diminished renal function which leads to the accumulation of normeperidine. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has suggested avoiding meperidine in older adults, limiting its dose (≤600 mg/day) and duration of use (≤48 h). The objective of this study was to determine the level of meperidine use in older adults and assess the dosage and duration of meperidine with reference to these safety recommendations. Methods A longitudinal study using administrative healthcare data was conducted to examine meperidine utilization and levels of high dose and extended duration prescribing among persons ≥65 years of age between April 1, 2001, and March 31, 2014 in Manitoba, Canada. The number of meperidine prescriptions, users, duration of treatment, defined daily doses (DDD) dispensed and number of prescribers were determined over the study period. Results In the Manitoba older adult population there was a marked decline in meperidine users and prescriptions from 2001 to 2014. There was an average use of 26.4 (95 % CI 24.0–28.8) DDDs of meperidine per user per year. While only 3.7 % of the prescriptions exceeded the 600 mg maximum daily dose, 96.7 % of prescriptions exceeded the recommended 2 days of therapy. For the remaining users of meperidine, the amount of meperidine used per person rose from 18.98 to 56.14 DDDs/user/year over the study period. The number of prescribers of meperidine declined throughout the study, but low DDD prescribers declined more quickly than high DDD prescribers. Conclusions While meperidine use has declined, the remaining use appears to be decreasing in safety, with more meperidine prescribed per user. This seems to be driven by the continued prescribing by a small number of high DDD prescribers. Targeted educational initiatives directed at this small group of prescribers may be helpful. Alternatively removing meperidine from medication insurance schemes may provide additional incentive to avoid meperidine in older adults.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2016 · BMC Geriatrics
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    • "In this study, we used three datasets within the PATHS resource: the Manitoba Immunization Monitoring System which contains vaccination dates and identifiers; claims for physician visits and tests ordered; and the Manitoba Health Registry which includes demographic data (e.g., sex, age, postal code) on virtually every child residing in Manitoba. The validity of the data included in the PATHS resource have been well documented29303132. The study was approved by the University of Manitoba Health Research Ethics Board (HREB) and the Manitoba Health Information Privacy Committee (HIPC). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction Childhood vaccination rates in Manitoba populations with low socioeconomic status (SES) fall significantly below the provincial average. This study examined the impact of a pay-for-performance (P4P) program called the Physician Integrated Network (PIN) on health inequity in childhood vaccination rates. Methods The study used administrative data housed at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. We included all children born in Manitoba between 2003 and 2010 who were patients at PIN clinics receiving P4P funding matched with controls at non-participating clinics. We examined the rate of completion of the childhood primary vaccination series by age 2 across income quintiles (Q1–Q5). We estimated the distribution of income using the Gini coefficient, and calculated concentration indices for vaccination to determine whether the P4P program altered SES-related differences in vaccination completion. We compared these measures between study cohorts before and after implementation of the P4P program, and over the course of the P4P program in each cohort. Results The PIN cohort included 6,185 children. Rates of vaccination completion at baseline were between 0.53 (Q1) and 0.69 (Q5). Inequality in income distribution was present at baseline and at study end in PIN and control cohorts. SES-related inequity in vaccination completion worsened in non-PIN clinics (difference in concentration index 0.037; 95 % CI 0.013, 0.060), but remained constant in P4P-funded clinics (difference in concentration index 0.006; 95 % CI 0.008, 0.021). Conclusions The P4P program had a limited impact on vaccination rates and did not address health inequity.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · International Journal for Equity in Health
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    • "Furthermore, given the self-reported nature of the data, bias due to inaccurate recall or social desirability remains a possibility, particularly in the PA and health services data. Previous studies have shown that older adults tend to overreport contacts with GP physicians and underreport contacts with medical specialists, while recall of events such as hospitalizations appears to be more accurate, perhaps because these events are more highly salient and easily remembered [47, 48]. Likewise, there are issues with the use of self-reported measures of PA in an older population including vision and hearing impairments or disturbances to cognition and short-or long-term memory [49] . "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose. To examine relationships between leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and health services utilization (H) in a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling older adults. Methods. Cross-sectional data from 56,652 Canadian Community Health Survey respondents aged ≥ 50 years (48% M; 52% F; mean age 63.5 ± 10.2 years) were stratified into three age groups and analysed using multivariate generalized linear modeling techniques. Participants were classified according to PA level based on self-reported daily energy expenditure. Nonleisure PA (NLPA) was categorized into four levels ranging from mostly sitting to mostly lifting objects. Results. Active 50-65-year-old individuals were 27% less likely to report any GP consultations (ORadj = 0.73; P < 0.001) and had 8% fewer GP consultations annually (IRRadj = 0.92; P < 0.01) than their inactive peers. Active persons aged 65-79 years were 18% less likely than inactive respondents to have been hospitalized overnight in the previous year (ORadj = 0.82, P < 0.05). Higher levels of NLPA were significantly associated with lower levels of HSU, across all age groups. Conclusion. Nonleisure PA appeared to be a stronger predictor of all types of HSU, particularly in the two oldest age groups. Considering strategies that focus on reducing time spent in sedentary activities may have a positive impact on reducing the demand for health services.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of aging research
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