New Dataset Made Available for Research: The ‘Children Looked After’ Census

August 02, 2022

The recent contribution of the ‘Children Looked After’ Census dataset to the Secure Anonymised Information (SAIL) Databank for research purposes, marks a significant step forward for children in Wales that come into contact with the care system.

These data will give approved researchers the opportunity to explore and understand in greater detail the journey of children through the care system and what happens to them when they leave. Using data linkage techniques, it will also be possible to gain a clearer picture of additional factors around children in care, by linking the new dataset with other data such as health, education and family justice.

 

Making Old Data New Again: Combining and re-using clinical data to examine sports injuries

July 26, 2022

Researchers have successfully demonstrated a way to identify sports and recreational injuries using existing routinely collected patient data.

The mountain of data collected from patient visits to a clinical provider, often called administrative data, can be a quick and affordable way to find out who is affected by certain health issues that occur after sports and recreational activities like basketball or rugby. Re-using the administrative data to conduct surveillance of health issues is a very important step to help keep people who participate in those activities out of the doctor’s office and on the pitch. Yet, turning administrative data into a form that gives us answers requires a lot of time, energy, and knowledge.

 

Critical care research to benefit from new data linkage method: INTEGRATE

July 18, 2022

A newly designed method, known as INTEGRATE, has been successfully used to demonstrate how anonymised critical care data from a number of data sources can be brought together to give an overview of a patient's journey before and after admission into an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The beauty of the INTEGRATE methodology, which is published in the International Journal of Population Data Science (IJPDS), is that it can be easily reproduced by any researcher with appropriate access to critical care data and interest in research into critical care pathways, making it a valuable asset for critical care research studies.

 

Researchers identify additional risk factors that help predict a child’s potential alcohol use.

July 7, 2022

In the first study of its kind using a large-scale data linkage, researchers have established a number of previously unknown factors that are likely to contribute to alcohol use in childhood. It is known that a child’s mental health, parental negligence and a dysfunctional family environment are some of the reasons why a child might turn to drink. But researchers have now revealed a more complex set of risk factors that could help professionals to identify children with alcohol related problems.

 

Children with CF in Wales may have worse educational achievements than the general population.

June 27, 2022

New insights into the educational achievements of 10 and 11 year olds in Wales with cystic fibrosis revealed that these children’s fare worse than the general population. As there is little known about the social consequences of living with cystic fibrosis, especially how it impacts a child’s education and whether they receive adequate support in schools, researchers conducted a population-scale data linkage study of all children born in Wales, the details of which have been published in the International Journal of Population Data Science (IJPDS).

 

Researchers ensure safety and effectiveness of medicines for the Australian public

June 9, 2022

While clinical trials are used to test how effective and safe medicines are in controlled settings enabling regulators and payers to decide upon which medicines to register and subsidise for the general public, in Australia, there have been crucial gaps in knowledge that give reliable evidence of how these medicines translate to the ‘real-world’ in terms of their use and effects, until now.

 

Study reveals the Winnipeg Boys & Girls Clubs help safeguard children from negative social outcomes.

June 9, 2022

A new study has revealed that the Winnipeg Boys & Girls Clubs are having a positive impact on the children who attend including better school engagement, lower risk of being charged with a crime, and lower risk of a teenage pregnancy. Members that use the Clubs most frequently are predominantly younger children aged 5 to 12, with some older children up to the age of 18 also taking advantage of the facilities, and many of the children come from low income families and face challenges in their home lives.

 

COVID-19 risk at mass gatherings successfully assessed using data linkage

June 6, 2022

Population Data Science methods have great potential for informing policy in relation to the risk of infectious disease at large scale events, as demonstrated in a new study published in the International Journal of Population Data Science (IJPDS).

In summer 2021, as rates of COVID-19 decreased and social restrictions were relaxed in Wales, live entertainment and sporting events were resumed. Researchers in Wales used data linkage methods to assess the potential increased risks of spreading COVID-19 at large events in order to inform policy on the safe re-introduction of spectator events.

 

Synthetic administrative data can support important research

May 23, 2022

Generating synthetic, or artificial versions of administrative data, could improve the efficiency of data analysis allowing research to be conducted more quickly. Synthetic data can be used for research and training purposes in place of the original data routinely collected during the administration of services such as the National Health Service or through education, employment, or the justice system, whilst still preserving the structure and some of the patterns in the original data, and protecting the privacy of individuals.

 

Making the most of fraud and computer misuse crime report data

May 11, 2022

Researchers and public authorities are increasingly exploring the potential of routinely collected administrative data to generate new insights. This includes recent work leveraging the opportunities of the crime report data collected by the UK’s national reporting centre, Action Fraud (AF). In fact, these data are a key resource for police officers and crime analysts and have a huge potential to inform local response, e.g. to help better understand victims’ needs, demands on police services and the experiences of repeat victims.

 

New data resource article to help researchers use Welsh Government children’s social care data

May 09, 2022

The Children in Need dataset and the Children Receiving Care and Support dataset are available to authorised researchers within the secure research platform at the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank, based at Swansea University. These datasets include information relating to needs of children and young people and their social care support.

 

COVID-19 led to changes in community drug dispensing

April 28, 2022

The first study using the Welsh Dispensing DataSet available via SAIL Databank, has revealed how health services in Wales, such as community drug dispensing, changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Analyses led by Fatemeh Torabi and Ashley Akbari identified substantial fluctuations in dispensing patterns that corresponded with the timing of the UK national lockdowns. Many people on repeat prescriptions were provided 2 or 3 months’ supply of medication , in order to ensure continuation of care, and the pandemic also interrupted routine immunisation pathways.

 

How can we make administrative data research-ready?

April 27, 2022

Administrative data are routinely collected during the day-to-day delivery of services, such as health, education, justice and social care. Because administrative data contain detailed information about all users of a service collected over many years, they are an extremely valuable resource for research.

 

The complexities of accessing linked data from multiple jurisdictions, simplified

April 27, 2022

A project conducted by the Population Health Research Network (PHRN) has resulted in the PHRN Online Application System (OAS). The new system simplifies the complex process of accessing data for research purposes from multiple jurisdictions across Australia.

 

Developing an interactive tool to support health system capacity planning during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 06, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed an urgent need for planning tools to help manage increased pressure on hospital systems. To help decision-makers better plan for the pandemic, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) developed the COVID-19 Health System Capacity Planning Tool.

 

The Children’s Data Network (CDN): Connecting the Dots to Inform Children’s Programs and Policies

March 23, 2022

The Children’s Data Network, based in California, now holds the single largest dataset on children and youth in the United States. In order to support and develop upon investment into programs for children and youths experiencing adversities, this valuable and rich source of data offers researchers opportunities to more accurately assess root causes of children’s circumstances, and track their progression over time.

 

People are happy for researchers to use their digital footprint data – as long as certain conditions are met

March 16, 2022

Our ‘digital footprints’ are the tracks and traces we leave behind when we use the internet, digital devices such as fitness trackers, and online services. As these footprints provide insights into people’s behaviours, these data have huge potential to improve researchers’ abilities to discover greater levels of understanding about people and populations.

 

Do social circumstances affect your health? Canadian researchers can begin examining the complex connections between social assistance and health, for the first time

March 03, 2022

There has been a growing interest in examining the how the conditions of a person’s daily life such as access to health, educational attainment, financial stability, or the neighbourhood they live in can effect their health.

 

Valuable research into Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is no longer being lost in translation - with impactful and life changing results

March 02, 2022

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the name given to a group of conditions in children who are exposed to alcohol in the womb. It is a complex and largely preventable public health issue in many countries around the world.

 

How ADRC NI helped protect population data research during the 2017 Northern Ireland Government collapse

February 03, 2022

Following the collapse of the devolved Northern Ireland Assembly in 2017, the Administrative Data Research Centre Northern Ireland (ADRC NI), responsible for facilitating access to government data for research for public benefit, had to quickly adapt and identify new ways to continue to positively influence policy and practice.

 

Developing the freely available CENTRIC training curriculum for UK researchers working with administrative data

February 02, 2022

CENTRIC is a new administrative data online training course launched in September 2020 by Cardiff University that specifically addresses commonly identified training needs of researchers working with administrative data. Aimed at researchers based in the UK, CENTRIC training is completely free of charge.

 

How do we navigate the sensitive and often misunderstood use of data on child abuse and neglect, for research purposes?

January 26, 2022

Nationally and internationally, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of identifying, documenting and reporting suspected and confirmed child maltreatment.

 

Turning research into policy: The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP) reveals its formula to drive impact

January 25, 2022

The ability to inform policies, programs and service delivery with scientific evidence continues to benefit individuals, communities and our society as a whole, so it is important that researchers develop skills not only in sharing their results in ways that speak to targeted audiences, but also in fostering relationships with these knowledge users.

 

Regular use of Universal Health and Education Services decreases the chance of developmental issues in young children

January 19, 2022

The first 2,000 days of a child’s life is a critical window of opportunity for establishing a strong foundation for their futures, and the universal child health and early education services are regarded as one of the best investments that governments can make to support caregivers in providing for their children’s health, development and learning.

 

How administrative data and analytics were used to support Ontario’s COVID-19 pandemic response

January 18, 2022

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, data and analytics have been crucial to both understanding the virus’ impact on populations and health systems and informing the public health response. The unprecedented need for timely, relevant analytics presented challenges to many health systems.

 

Location-based sensors confirm that the public opted to ‘lockdown’ before policy interventions came into force

January 13, 2022

A new research study has confirmed that German citizens practiced self-imposed social distancing ahead of policy interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from 100 sensors located across 49 metropolitan areas in Germany, researchers found that the numbers of pedestrians had fallen by 85% in 2020 compared with the previous, pre-pandemic year, before formal lockdowns were introduced by the Government.

 

Policymakers and researchers partner to inform new approach to reduce smoking in pregnancy

December 14, 2021

New research highlights the potential to reduce the rates of premature birth and stillbirth in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, using smoking cessation campaigns that outline the benefits of not smoking during pregnancy.

 

ASSIGN - an algorithm to help researchers study more precisely how health is impacted by where we live and who we live with

December 8, 2021

Knowing where a person lives and who they live with can provide important insights into the effects of the local environment and household composition on their health.

 

Administrative health data help to monitor the role of universal funding for assistive technologies for diabetes management in children.

December 7, 2021

In order to understand why some children experiencing complications of diabetes stay longer in hospital than others in New Brunswick, Canada, this study used anonymized data on the provincial insulin pump program, hospital records, and residential characteristics to characterize the social and policy factors that may result in shorter hospital overnight stays.

 

Coronavirus infection rates are lower amongst people experiencing homelessness in Wales than the general population

December 2, 2021

The Welsh Government’s rapid response to protect people experiencing homelessness from the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in lower rates of infection amongst this section of the population, compared with the general population in Wales, according to new research published today in the International Journal of Population Data Science (IJPDS).

 

How Data Harmonization provides a unique opportunity to accelerate health research

November 30, 2021

Data harmonization promising new way to support the advancement of research into population health to improve health and well-being of people worldwide, and provides unique opportunities for research.

 

Healthcare data linkage helps bridge the precarious transition gap from paediatric to adult services for young people with long term conditions

November 04, 2021

Up to the age of 16, children in the UK with long term health conditions receive ongoing healthcare, often by specialist paediatricians. But from age 16 onwards, the healthcare system views them as adults and transition to adult healthcare follows. This transition period is not only disruptive to the young people, but is also a source of concern about care standards that warranted inclusion in reports from the Care Quality Commission and the Chief Medical Officer for England.

 

Administrative health data help to monitor chronic diseases for the people of Alberta, Canada

October 21, 2021

In order to understand why and how some people develop cancer and chronic disease while others do not, Alberta’s Tomorrow Project in Alberta, Canada, invited Albertans that do not have prior history of cancer other than skin melanoma to participate in their long-term study by contributing information about their personal lifestyles and other risk factors for chronic diseases.

 

How can we measure the developmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on young children?

October 7, 2021

Across the United States and around the world, children and families are starting a new school year. Typically, a time of excitement and new beginnings, the first day of school has again been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Researchers can measure health across multiple generations using routinely collected electronic records containing information on family structures and health

October 7, 2021

Having a family history of a health condition could increase your own risk of developing that health condition. Family health history is therefore an important tool for identifying people who have an increased risk of common, complex conditions.

 

How can access to administrative data for research be improved in Canada? This study aims to find out.

September 28, 2021

Administrative health data are a vital resource for researchers seeking to study the provision of healthcare. How healthcare is delivered, the quality of care provided, and the areas of care needing improvement, are essential pieces of information if healthcare is to be delivered to the highest standards. Why then is it still so challenging for some researchers to gain access to the data?

 

Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET); more than a youth policy issue

September 21, 2021

Extending the age range of NEETs (people who are not in Employment, Education or Training) from the current 15-29 years to include all working ages from 15-64 years, will give social policy makers a better opportunity to deliver the right support and interventions to the right age groups.

 

Our understanding of complex relationships between health, education and social care of millions of children in England, is set to improve significantly.

September 16, 2021

A brand new database called ECHILD (Education and Child Health Insights from Linked Data) has been created that will significantly improve upon the depth and breadth of researcher’s understanding of how health, education and social care can impact the lives of millions of children across England.

 

A partnership between NHS England and NHS Improvement and The Health Foundation develops new algorithm to accurately identify the number of care home residents

September 15, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has been instrumental in highlighting how the lack of a national registry of care home residents in England has hampered efforts to adequately support this population subgroup. Meeting the needs of today’s ageing population with multiple health and healthcare needs is recognised to be among the most serious of challenges currently faced by the National Health Service (NHS) in England.

 

People working in the caring sector are at higher risk of poor mental health outcomes

July 27, 2021

Research suggests that healthcare professionals are more likely to be exposed to work-related stress from long working hours, night work or shift work and can often experience sleep disruption, potentially leading to burnout, depression, anxiety and sleep disorder, for up to 40% of healthcare staff. Research suggests that healthcare professionals are more likely to be exposed to work-related stress from long working hours, night work or shift work and can often experience sleep disruption, potentially leading to burnout, depression, anxiety and sleep disorder, for up to 40% of healthcare staff.