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Understanding and responding to COVID-19 in Wales: protocol for a privacy protecting data platform for enhanced epidemiology and evaluation of interventions

Lyons, Jane, Akbari, Ashley, Torabi, Fatemeh, Davies, Gareth, North, Laura, Griffiths, Rowena, Bailey, Rowena, Hollinghurst, Joe, Fry, Richard, Turner, Samantha, Thompson, Daniel, Rafferty, James, Mizen, Amy., Orton, Chris, Ellwood-Thompson, Simon, Au-Yeung, Lee, Cross, Lynsey, Gravenor, Mike, Brophy, Sinead, Lucini, Biagio, John, Ann, Szakmany, Tamas ORCID:, Davies, Jan, Davies, Chris, Thomas, Daniel Rhys, Williams, Christopher, Emmerson, Chris, Cottrell, Simon, Connor, Thomas ORCID:, Taylor, Chris ORCID:, Pugh, Richard, Diggle, Peter J., John, Gareth, Scourfield, Simon, Hunt, Joe, Cunningham, Anne Marie, Helliwell, Kathryn and Lyons, Ronan A. 2020. Understanding and responding to COVID-19 in Wales: protocol for a privacy protecting data platform for enhanced epidemiology and evaluation of interventions. BMJ Open 10 (10) , e043010. 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043010

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Introduction The emergence of the novel respiratory SARS-CoV-2 and subsequent COVID-19 pandemic have required rapid assimilation of population-level data to understand and control the spread of infection in the general and vulnerable populations. Rapid analyses are needed to inform policy development and target interventions to at-risk groups to prevent serious health outcomes. We aim to provide an accessible research platform to determine demographic, socioeconomic and clinical risk factors for infection, morbidity and mortality of COVID-19, to measure the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare utilisation and long-term health, and to enable the evaluation of natural experiments of policy interventions. Methods and analysis Two privacy-protecting population-level cohorts have been created and derived from multisourced demographic and healthcare data. The C20 cohort consists of 3.2 million people in Wales on the 1 January 2020 with follow-up until 31 May 2020. The complete cohort dataset will be updated monthly with some individual datasets available daily. The C16 cohort consists of 3 million people in Wales on the 1 January 2016 with follow-up to 31 December 2019. C16 is designed as a counterfactual cohort to provide contextual comparative population data on disease, health service utilisation and mortality. Study outcomes will: (a) characterise the epidemiology of COVID-19, (b) assess socioeconomic and demographic influences on infection and outcomes, (c) measure the impact of COVID-19 on short -term and longer-term population outcomes and (d) undertake studies on the transmission and spatial spread of infection. Ethics and dissemination The Secure Anonymised Information Linkage-independent Information Governance Review Panel has approved this study. The study findings will be presented to policy groups, public meetings, national and international conferences, and published in peer-reviewed journals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 2044-6055
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 2 October 2020
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2023 19:21

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