There are now three Census-based record linkage studies covering the constituent parts of the UK: The Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study (ONS LS) of England and Wales (established in the mid-1970s); the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS); and the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS) – the latter two launched in 2007. Their existence means that there is now potential to undertaking parallel and combined analyses using all three sources to examine health differentials over the whole of the United Kingdom (UK).
The primary focus of this proposal is to encourage and facilitate such coverage by considering and overcoming the practical problems that could undermine cross-study analysis. We also plan a research project to provide an exemplar for how such integration can be achieved – and hopefully stimulate a research agenda for others to engage. It will involve addressing and documenting both difficulties encountered, proposed and implemented solutions and include production of a user guide and other relevant tools for users. It will also produce results of substantive scientific and policy interest. Additionally, it will provide a means for the three relevant support teams (and associated Census office teams) to share best practice and develop further collaboration.
Young, H. Grundy, E. O’Reilly, D. and Boyle, P. (2010) Self-rated health and mortality in the UK: results from the first comparative analysis of the England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland Longitudinal Studies. Population Trends Spring 2010. Office for National Statistics.