Health Studies User Conference 2019

The annual Health Studies User Conference, organised by the UK Data Service in collaboration with UCL and NatCen Social Research, is a full-day conference and is free to attend. The conference will allow users to hear updates from the data producers on key UK cross-sectional health surveys and key UK longitudinal studies with health-related content, including:

  • Health Survey for England
  • CLS Cohort Studies
  • English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

There will also be presentations from researchers based on analysis of these data.

This year the conference includes a panel discussion on ‘NHS Digital and the emerging data access landscape for health research’, chaired by Catherine Bromley of the Office for Statistics Regulation.

Analysing Patient-Level Data using Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)

This course includes instruction on how to:

  • understand, manage and manipulate the data
  • construct and analyse key variables such as waiting times or length of stay
  • analyse individual patient records defined as Finished Consultant Episodes, Provider Spells and Continuous Inpatient Spells
  • monitor emergency readmissions
  • aggregate data by Healthcare Resource Group or providers/commissioners
  • cost data by HRG and reference costs
  • evaluate Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS)
  • use the data for benchmarking and policy evaluation

The tutors have worked extensively with HES data and will guide participants through the potential pitfalls using case studies, practical examples and problem-solving exercises.

SMaRteN webinar: Secondary Data Analysis of general population surveys

In the past ten years, there has been an increase in symptoms of depression and anxiety among young women. We do not know whether this trend is echoed within the student population or how characteristics, including gender, ethnicity, sexuality or socio-economic status interact with mental health within this population. While the UK has a strong tradition of high-quality general population surveys, existing surveys do not lend themselves readily to comparing student mental health with that of non-students. Many fail to ask whether the respondent is a student, or miss details about education sector. Within population surveys, students are a small minority of respondents and those living in residential halls are likely to be under-represented in household surveys.

Despite the limitations of existing general population data sets informative analysis could be completed. For instance, the ESRC Understanding Society survey is one of a number of cross sectional and longitudinal data sets that could be used. Understanding Society indicates those in full time education, establishes whether this is FE, HE college or university and includes measures of mental health and wellbeing. As a longitudinal survey, tracking respondents over time, it provides insight into the impact of becoming a student. The sample is large, so inequalities in rates of mental distress between different groups of students could also be explored.

In this webinar, led by Sally McManus, we will:

• Discuss the data sets available that allow for comparison of student and non-student mental health
• Clarify how to access this data
• Consider challenges in working with this data, and approaches that might be taken to navigate these challenges
• Identify questions that might be addressed through secondary data analysis

If there is something in particular you would Sally to cover, please contact her in advance of the webinar at – and, where possible, she will incorporate this within the webinar.

Registration for the event will close on Sunday 17th March