Use of Public Survey Data in Health Outcomes Research

Faculty - Michael L. Ganz MS, PhD

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the variety of large public-access databases that are appropriate for health services research, health economics, pharmacoeconomics, and outcomes research. The idea of using secondary data (someone else's data) contained in these large public-use databases to answer questions in pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research is discussed and the advantages and disadvantages of using these types of data are reviewed. The reliability and validity of data contained in these large databases are also reviewed and discussed in the context of the compromises inherent in using secondary data. The United States health data infrastructure (the source of these secondary databases) is covered and several national databases are introduced and discussed. Data elements relevant to pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research, such as cost, health care utilization, health status, health-related quality of life, and socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, are presented and discussed. In addition to presenting and reviewing these large databases, this course reviews the practical methods for data manipulation and analysis.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the Use of Public Survey Data in Health Outcomes Research module, you will have:

  • Learned about the availability of databases that are relevant to and commonly used by health services researchers, health economists, and outcomes researchers.
  • Become familiar with some of the strengths and weaknesses of secondary data.
  • Learned practical methods for obtaining and managing secondary data.
  • Been introduced to some analytic techniques appropriate for use with secondary data.

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