Journal Article

Extending Gerontological Research Through Linking Investigators' Studies to Public-Use Datasets

Lisa Fredman, William Hawkes, Sheryl Itkin Zimmerman, J. Richard Hebel and Jay Magaziner

in The Gerontologist

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 41, issue 1, pages 15-23
Published in print February 2001 | ISSN: 0016-9013
Published online February 2001 | e-ISSN: 1758-5341 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/41.1.15
Extending Gerontological Research Through Linking Investigators' Studies to Public-Use Datasets

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  • Geriatric Medicine
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Purpose: Public-use datasets can extend data collected by individual investigators in various ways: making external comparisons, providing additional data on individual respondents, and creating internal comparison groups. The authors describe the advantages and limitations of these methods and practical and conceptual issues in combining investigator-initiated and public-use datasets. Design and Methods: These issues are illustrated with a study of functional decline among 674 patients following hospitalization for hip fracture that was augmented with data from a public-use dataset, the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE). Results:By creating an internal comparison group of EPESE respondents, frequency matched to hip fracture patients on age, sex, and baseline functional limitations, the authors formed a single dataset and performed multivariable analyses of factors associated with functional decline. Implications: Gerontological research may benefit by applying these methods to program evaluations and longitudinal analyses of health outcomes with numerous public-use datasets.

Keywords: Data linkage; EPESE; Hip fracture; Physical functioning

Journal Article.  6122 words. 

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Biological Sciences ; Psychology ; Gerontology and Ageing

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