ALSWH holds linked data from a number of national administrative health record collections (refer to inked data sources for a list of the collection names and organisations involved). Linkage for all national collections is conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Data Linkage Unit.
See ALSWH metadata for details of national holdings, by cohort.
You should consider the scope of each collection, and also note that ALSWH only receives a selection of the variables. Refer to the ALSWH Linked Data Variable Request Form for details of all collections.
MBS and PBS
The AIHW conducts regular record linkage and extraction for Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for all ALSWH cohorts. Matching is deterministic (AIHW holding the concordance file between ALSWH participant numbers and Medicare PINs.) PBS data contain Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) items, if they exist. MBS DVA items (Repatriation-MBS) are provided as separate datasets (applicable to the the 1921-26 and 1946-51 cohorts only; see more under ‘DVA data’, below).
Data are updated annually, with the most recent being September 2019. MBS data cover the period January 1996 to June 2019. PBS covers May 2002 to June 2019.
All ALSWH cohorts are now linked deterministically, using the Medicare PINs, to the Australian Cancer Database (ACD; the national minimum cancer dataset at AIHW, which incorporates data from all State Registries). Non-melanotic skin cancers are excluded.
Data are updated annually, with the most recent being August 2020. Data cover the period 1982 to December 2016 (except for NT which is only to 2015).
For the two oldest ALSWH cohorts (1921-26 and 1941-46) aged care data are sourced from the AIHW’s National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse. These datasets are complex and include activity data for state and federal residential aged care programs. Data for Department of Veterans’ Affairs aged care programs are linked separately. Data were last received in 2017.
ALSWH holds Repatriation-MBS and Aged Care Program data from Department of Veterans’ Affairs, as some women in the two oldest cohorts are DVA card holders. These records are provided to ensure complete coverage of service use. The number of ALSWH participants currently identified as DVA clients is 3,395 in the 1921-26 cohort, and 144 in the 1946-51 cohort. Note that DVA clients may also use non-DVA aged care services.
DVA Aged Care data were last received in 2017; R-MBS in 2019 (R-PBS are included in the general PBS dataset).
If you intend to conduct analyses which distinguish DVA clients or DVA services, your project will require specific DDVA HREC approval, and must also have a DVA sponsor .
AIHW also provide updates from the National Death Index (NDI). Please request the Participant Status file for fact of death (includes deaths to November 2018).
Cause and date of death (MM/YYYY) may also be requested, with additional justification (available to November 2017).