Who reports address changes through the healthcare system? The characteristics of laggers and non‐reporters using the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study

Shuttleworth, I. & Barr, P. (2011) Population Trends, 144(Summer), 48-54 [NILS]

Other information:

Address information from health service professionals is already important for the delivery of health care and population monitoring and screening. It is also important for statistical purposes such as the estimation of migration and small area populations and its importance could increase as the decade progresses and alternatives are sought to the traditional census. Because of this, it is important to understand more about the accuracy of address information provided through the health care system.

This article considers the characteristics of ‘laggers’ - those who delay in reporting address changes - and ‘non-reporters’ - those who on occasion fail to report their addresses.

The article finds that, as might be expected, laggers and non-reporters tend to be male and resident in urban and deprived areas. However, less expectedly, older people tend to be laggers, as are owner occupiers, those who are not ill, those who have some educational qualifications, and those who are self-employed. Some non-reporters are also more likely to be employed in professional jobs and to be unmarried (for example single, remarried and divorced). This suggests that poor address information is not just a problem associated with the socially deprived and the young but also with some more affluent groups such as those not experiencing limiting long-term illness. The article concludes by arguing that the checking of patients’ address information should be collected under the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) as a performance indicator.

Available online: Population Trends,
Download output document: Full Paper (PDF 88KB)
Output from project: 020


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