An Introduction to the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS)

Carsley, S. (2014) BSPS Annual Conference 2014, Univ of Winchester, 8 - 10 September 2014. [SLS]

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This poster will introduce the SLS and the datasets, the application process for researchers interested in using the SLS and outline research examples.

The Longitudinal Studies Centre – Scotland (LSCS) was established in 2001 and hosts the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS). This study links together routinely collected administrative data for a 5.3% representative sample of the Scottish population (about 270,000 people). It currently includes a wealth of information from the censuses starting in 1991, vital events registrations (births, deaths and marriages), Scottish education data, and with appropriate permissions can be linked to NHS health data including cancer registry and hospital admission data.

The size and scope of the SLS make it an unparalleled resource in Scotland for analysing a range of socio-economic, demographic and health questions. Additionally, the longitudinal nature of the SLS is particularly valuable, allowing an exploration of causality in a way that cross-sectional data collected at a single point in time does not. In this way, the SLS can provide insights into the health and social status of the Scottish population and, crucially, how it changes over time.

The 2014 BSPS conference presents a timely opportunity to highlight new data that will be available as a result of the inclusion of the 2011 Census data and will help researchers decide whether the SLS is an appropriate resource for their research.

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