Health Services Research (HSR) Methods
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Link List for Data and Databases

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): Data and Surveys
A link to major surveys and data products offered by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), including links to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS); Health Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP); HIV and AIDS Cost and Use; and the Safety Net Monitoring Initiative.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) MEPS-IC Tables
Estimates related to employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) in firms with 50 to 99 employees have been made available by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component (MEPS IC). While most states currently define small employers as firms with 50 or fewer employees, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) defines a small employer as a firm with 100 or fewer employees; however, states have an option to limit the small employer health insurance market to firms with 50 or fewer employees until 2016. This new state-level data about offer, eligibility, take-up, premiums, and enrollee cost sharing for firms with 50 to 99 employees will be helpful to states as they make decisions about how to implement the ACA.

Analyze US Government Survey Data with Free Tools
This blog announces obsessively-detailed instructions to analyze US government survey data with free tools - the r language, the survey package, and (for big data) sqlsurvey + monetdb.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a data system of health surveys that provide a comprehensive resource of state based surveys of health-risk behavior. Survey topics are focused on health behaviors, clinical preventative practices and patient access to health care. BRFSS is conducted annually with a cross-sectional telephone survey by state health departments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sponsored the BRFSS since its establishment in 1984.

BioMed Central Databases
A searchable collection of more than 1,000 databases related to biomedical research.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS)
Technical documents, data files, and user support for the BRFSS, the worlds largest ongoing telephone survey (since 1984). BRFSS is designed to provide nationally representative data on chronic illness, nutrition, and other behavioral health issues.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): National Center for Health Statistics Data Linkage Activities
Provide links to data files on disability, chronic disease, health care utilization, morbidity, and mortality. The National Death Index (NDI) and Social Security Administration (SSA) data are linked through this page.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Summary of Surveys and Data Systems, August 2008
A summary of NCHS' current surveys and data systems organized by name, data source/methods, selected applications of data produced planned sample, race/ethnicity, SES, and other factors.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS): Basic Stand Alone Medicare Claims Public Use Files
This first release contains the "CMS 2008 BSA Inpatient Claims PUF" with information from 2008 Medicare inpatient claims. This is a non-identifiable claim-level file in which each record is an inpatient claim incurred by a 5% sample of Medicare beneficiaries. The PUF is available to researchers as a free download in CSV format along with comprehensive documentation and SAS data user’s guide.

Part of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), an organization within the United Nations system that focuses on global children's issues. UNICEF collects and disperses statistics on the status of women and children across the globe through Childinfo. Data can be searched and browse by statistics based on area and topic, and through Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS).

A part of the National Institutes on Health (NIH), ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world. ClinicalTrials.gov gives you information about a trial's purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details. Users can search for clinical trials and receive investigator instructions and background information on the trials.

CTSPedia: A Knowledge Base for Clinical and Translational Research
CTSPedia is a product of the Biostatistics Epidemiology Research Design (BERD) Online Resources and Education Taskforce of the CTSAs. CTSpedia provides tools, educational materials, and other resources to advance clinical and translational research.

Data Systems and Social Determinants of Health: Public Health Reports Volume 126 Supplement 3
A supplement focused on data systems and their use in addressing social determinants of health (SDH)—the underlying economic and social conditions that influence the health of individuals and communities as a whole. Articles in the supplement describe novel ways to use surveillance data from both national and state-level data collection systems and demonstrate innovative ways of linking labor, housing, and policy data with public health data to assess health outcomes.

DataWeb & DataFerret
A network of online data libraries compiled by the US Census to provide access to a wide variety of public data files. Topics range from vital statistics, unemployment, and family dynamics. DataFerrett is an application available through the DataWeb that allows users to select variables of interest from various data sets and customize tables and graphics. Data may also be extracted in a variety of forms including ASCII, SPSS, SAS and Excel.

Access to RePEc (Research Papers in Economics), a collaboration of economists from around the world, focused on disseminating research in economics. Working papers, journal articles, computing code and book chapters are listed and most are freely available for download.

Environmental Scanning and Program Characteristics (ESPC) Database
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, in partnership with the Center for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) Services has developed the ESPC database, which includes more than 800 Medicaid and CHIP state-level variables to provide research support for Medicaid-related policy studies.

Under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Global Health represents the U.S. government's policy on global health issues. Users can browse and access data from the agency based on publications, region, international regulations, and other relevant global health topics.

Funded by the Kaiser Family Foundation, globalhealthfacts.org provides comprehensive data on global health issues. Data can be accessed with the interactive maps or searched by country, current global epidemics (HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, etc.), risk indicators, programs, health workforce, demographics, population, income, and economy. Users can also create a custom data sheet that compares up to five countries against an unlimited number of indicators.

Health and Retirement Study (National Institutes of Health)
Genetic data from approximately 13,000 individuals was added to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Health and Retirement Study. The data are composed of approximately 2.5 million genetic markers from each person and are immediately available for analysis by qualified researchers.

HHS Community Health Data Initiative: Health Indicators Warehouse
Containing nearly 1,200 health indicators obtained from 170 data sources, this web portal serves a resource for developers of innovative health information technologies.

Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Vortal
Provides a portal for resources on health technology assessment including glossaries, databases, and methods tutorials.

HHS Measures Inventory
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is committed to providing the public an inventory of the measures that are currently being used by the Divisions in HHS for quality measurement, improvement, and reporting. The Department's goal is to further advance collaboration among members of the quality community and to advance the effective use and harmonization of quality of care measures. The Department's transparency about the quality measures being used lays the foundation for the measurement enterprise and local users to build and improve upon. The HHS Measure Inventory is only accessible through the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™ (NQMC) Web site.

A free, online database of current HSR projects. HSRProj contains descriptions on more than 6,000 ongoing health services research projects funded by government and state agencies, foundations, and private organizations.

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)
The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS-USA) consists of more than fifty high-precision samples of the American population drawn from fifteen federal censuses and from the American Community Surveys of 2000-2010. Some of these samples have existed for years, and others were created specifically for this database. These samples, which draw on every surviving census from 1850-2000, and the 2000-2010 ACS samples, collectively constitute our richest source of quantitative information on long-term changes in the American population. However, because different investigators created these samples at different times, they employed a wide variety of record layouts, coding schemes, and documentation. This has complicated efforts to use them to study change over time. The IPUMS assigns uniform codes across all the samples and brings relevant documentation into a coherent form to facilitate analysis of social and economic change.

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR): Data Use Tutorial
A guide to using ICPSR raw data. Also includes links to the ICPSR glossary and the Social Sciences Research and Instructional Council (SSRIC) glossary of research terms.

International Data Resource Center (IDRC)
The IDRC acts as a clearinghouse for international data housed at ICPSR. Users can search and browse Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) meta-data records. The database includes over 1,200 studies that contain international data.

The Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
The ICPSR is a major database providing data and information tools for a span of social science research disciplines. Services include analysis-ready data collections available for SAS, SPSS, and Stata programs; online data analysis tools; bibliography of data-related literature; and a variety of easy-to-use search options and navigation tools to locate specific, general, or related data conveniently ready for quantitative analysis methods.

Joint United Nation Program in Aids (UNAIDS)
UNAIDS is a joint program consisting of all organizations within the United Nations system. The goal of UNAIDS is to provide information and assistance to the global community, especially those populations severely afflicted with HIV/AIDS. Data can be accessed based on information about the global status of HIV/AIDS.

Kaisernetwork: Health Poll Search
Access to public opinion polls on health care topics. More than 60,000 questions and responses are available on 29 health-related topics.

National Cancer Institute (NCI): Health Services and Economics website
Part of NCIs Cancer Control and Population Sciences. This site provides tools for researchers, areas of research, surveys and studies, and research networks to give information on cancer in the specific areas of health services and economics.

National Cancer Institute (NCI): Statistical Research and applications
Cancer statistics, as well as methods and software for analyzing cancer data are available.

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS): Health Survey Matrix
Summary of major surveys and data systems undertaken by NCHS. Lists methods, sample information, and plans for the data between 2003-2007.

National Institutes of Health Resource on Behavioral and Social Science Research Methods
This Web-based, interactive textbook is a central resource for current methods, high quality behavioral and social science research. Created by the Office of Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), this anthology provides authoritative answers to methodological questions and sets quality standards for the research community.

National Institutes on Health (NIH) Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT)
Provides access to reports, data, and analyses of NIH research activities, including information on NIH expenditures and the results of NIH-supported research.

National Library of Medicine (NLM): Health Services and Sciences Research Resources (HSSR)
A summary of datasets, instruments/indices, and software used for analysis of health services research, public health, and the behavioral and social sciences.

National Library of Medicine (NLM): NLM Gateway
Users can search all of NLM's resources including the NLM catalog, HSRProj, and Health Services Research Meeting Abstracts.

National Survey of America's Families (NSAF)
Access to data on the Urban Institute's NSAF. Conducted in three rounds between 1997 and 2002, the NSAF provides information on national trends in child, adult, and family well-being.

National Survey of Residential Care Facilities (NSRCF)
The Division of Health Care Statistics (DHCS) in the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) announced the internet release of two data products from the 2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities (NSRCF)—the first-ever national probability sample survey of residential care facilities with four or more beds—collected data on residential care providers, their staffs and services, and their current residents. Survey methodology, documentation, and data files are available on the NCHS website.

National Center for Health Statistics U.S. Census Populations with Bridged Race Categories
A part of the NCHS National Vital Statistics System, this site provides data sets and tables consisting of information obtained using the race bridging method of surveying from the 2000 Census.

Policy Agendas Project: Center for American Politics and Public Policy
The Policy Agendas Website offers several tools for tracking policy issues. Special features allow for visual comparison of congressional hearings, statutes, Congressional Quarterly stories, a sample of New York Times stories, Gallup's Most Important Problem series, and Presidential Executive Orders. Most data is available from the mid-1940s through 2005. The Project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (Grant No. 0111443 ), the University of Washington, and Pennsylvania State University.

Rural Health Research Gateway
The Office of Rural Health Policy funds research activities at rural health research centers, as well as research conducted by individual investigators at other institutions. This site provides summaries of current and completed research projects and related publications.

The Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM): Research Dataset Compendium
The Dataset Compendium contains information on more than 40 publicly available datasets that may be of interest to investigators interested in health services, clinical epidemiology, and medical education research. Descriptions of the data and links are provided.

The Gallup Brain
Access to public opinion questions fielded by the Gallup Poll since 1935.

The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut
Modules on appropriate interpretation and use of polling results. Includes discussion of sample selection and survey error as well as a glossary of polling terms. Sample assignments are available for teaching purposes.

Fee-based access is available to the iPoll database of public opinion studies, which includes select questions and response data from major polling firms such as the Gallup Organization and Harris Interactive.

U.S. Census Bureau Health Insurance Data
Provides an array of health insurance data, including definitions, reports, access to data files, and links to relevant sites.

US Departrment of Health and Human Services (HHS): Data Council Gateway to Data and Statistics
Designed to complement other government websites such as FirstGov and FedStats, this site includes health and human services data and statistics at the federal, state, and local government level.

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Catalog of Approved Drugs
Provides a list of approved and tentatively approved prescription, non-prescription, and discontinued drugs. Also includes drug labeling and review packages. Information is organized alphabetically by drug name and active ingredient.

UW CHWS Health Workforce Questionnaires
The University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies has compiled questionnaires from various sources and organized them in the table below to assist policymakers, educators and researchers as they gather workforce data from health professionals.

World Health Organization (WHO) Datasets
The WHO coordinates all activities involving health issues for the United Nations. Data sets include the following topics: risk factors, health systems, diseases, and mortality. Available data sets and statistics can be accessed by database and categories including mortality and health status, diseases, coverage of services, risk factors, and health systems.

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) collects information from students on the prevalence of health-risk behaviors. Surveys are conducted in classrooms through self-administered paper questionnaires and focus on unintentional injuries and violence, tobacco use, alcohol, sexual behaviors, diet, and level of physical activity. It has been conducted biennially since 1991 with sponsorship by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and conducted in classrooms through self-administered paper questionnaires.