Efficient and transparent methods for linking and analysing longitudinal population studies and administrative data

Wellcome project

  • Duration: 01/05/2019 - 30/04/2022



For many years, researchers have collected data on individuals throughout childhood and through to adulthood. Known as ‘longitudinal population studies’, these data continue to shape our understanding of health and illness.

More recently, health and social research has benefited from the increased availability of data that are routinely collected for other purposes (e.g. clinical or financial management, or government administration). Unlike traditional cohort studies, which collect detailed information on a sub-sample of individuals at particular time-points, these administrative data continuously capture information on whole populations as they interact with services.

Linking these sources of data together has the potential to provide a deeper insight into what determines our health. However, linkage is not always straightforward due to data quality issues, which become more complex as more datasets are linked together. We will develop efficient methods for linking and analysing longitudinal population studies, to maximise the value of these existing data.

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