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  • Project contributors: Bell D, Rutherford A, Gasteen A,

    This Project is part of the following research programme/s:

    Longer lives


    The aim of the project is to evaluate the administrative data linkage of the surveys belonging to the Health and Retirement Studies (HRS) family on the Gateway to Global Ageing platform, identifying the extent and nature of linkage to date and the associated benefits and challenges.
    The objectives of the project are to:
    Comprehensively map the current, proposed and potential future administrative data linkage of the HRS' surveys.
    Compare surveys' linked data content through a systematic review of their metadata to ascertain what additional information is contained in the administrative data, linkage accuracy and statistical challenges. For example, where surveys are linked to health records, the study will identify the type of information provided (primary or secondary care, medications, etc.). In doing so, it will consider how different health care systems facilitate or limit the scope of administrative data linkage. Similar issues with respect to the linkage of benefits and tax records will be explored also.
    Undertake a review of the HRS' outputs using linked administrative data that are housed in the Gateway to Global Ageing's publications' repository and further afield.
    Assess why and how surveys' linkage differs with respect to ethical consents and access conditions. If possible, the legal basis under which administrative data are shared with researchers will be explored.
    Assess the value added of the administrative data linkages and their potential future role in the development of longitudinal studies of ageing, taking into account the fixed costs often associated with this activity.
    Prior to a final report in 2022, the project will produce a number of interim reports. The first interim report which maps HRS surveys' current linkage is almost complete and a survey of HRS' Principal Investigators and other research team members, designed to facilitate the above objectives, is underway. The mapping exercise suggests that administrative data linkage is patchy among HRS surveys and that continuity of linkage is an issue. Continuity appears to be most consistent where linkage has been built into the survey at the design stage and there is political buy-in behind the establishment of the survey.