The Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study: Current and Potential Projects
Johnston, F., Rosato, M. & Catney, G. (2010) British Society for Population Studies annual conference 2010, University of Exeter, UK, 13 - 15 September 2010 [NILS]
The Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS) - a large-scale, representative data linkage study consisting of approximately 500,000 people (28% of the Northern Ireland population) - has been available to researchers from both the government and academic sectors since 2006. It is an innovative resource which allows for the exploration of changing individual and area-based health, demographic and socio-economic characteristics. The NILS follows major life events using information from sources including the 2001 Census, vital events data (e.g. births, deaths) from the General Register Office and demographic data derived from health card registration data. There is also the potential to link individual level data from other resources for specifically designed one-off studies (Distinct Linkage Projects).
Approximately 40 research projects have used, or are using, the NILS as a major data source. An overview is presented using two already completed projects as examples: (i) a study of the socio- demographic and area correlates of suicides in Northern Ireland; and (ii) a Distinct Linkage Project which investigates the influence of demographic, socio-economic and area level factors as well as informal care-giving responsibilities on uptake of routine breast screening in Northern Ireland.
The objectives are to highlight the research potential of the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study database through a review of two completed projects; the socio-demographic and area correlates of suicides in Northern Ireland (results already published); and the demographic, socio-economic and area level factors as well as the importance of the care-giving role on uptake of routine breast screening in Northern Ireland (papers currently under review).