Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Lessons learned from using linked administrative data to evaluate the Family Nurse Partnership in England and Scotland

Cavallaro, Francesca, Cannings-John, Rebecca ORCID:, Lugg-Widger, Fiona ORCID:, Gilbert, Ruth, Kennedy, Eilis, Kendall, Sally, Robling, Michael ORCID: and Harron, Katie 2023. Lessons learned from using linked administrative data to evaluate the Family Nurse Partnership in England and Scotland. International Journal of Population Data Science 8 (1) 10.23889/ijpds.v8i1.2113

[thumbnail of ijpds-08-2113.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Introduction “Big data” – including linked administrative data – can be exploited to evaluate interventions for maternal and child health, providing time- and cost-effective alternatives to randomised controlled trials. However, using these data to evaluate population-level interventions can be challenging. Objectives We aimed to inform future evaluations of complex interventions by describing sources of bias, lessons learned, and suggestions for improvements, based on two observational studies using linked administrative data from health, education and social care sectors to evaluate the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) in England and Scotland. Methods We first considered how different sources of potential bias within the administrative data could affect results of the evaluations. We explored how each study design addressed these sources of bias using maternal confounders captured in the data. We then determined what additional information could be captured at each step of the complex intervention to enable analysts to minimise bias and maximise comparability between intervention and usual care groups, so that any observed differences can be attributed to the intervention. Results Lessons learned include the need for i) detailed data on intervention activity (dates/geography) and usual care; ii) improved information on data linkage quality to accurately characterise control groups; iii) more efficient provision of linked data to ensure timeliness of results; iv) better measurement of confounding characteristics affecting who is eligible, approached and enrolled. Conclusions Linked administrative data are a valuable resource for evaluations of the FNP national programme and other complex population-level interventions. However, information on local programme delivery and usual care are required to account for biases that characterise those who receive the intervention, and to inform understanding of mechanisms of effect. National, ongoing, robust evaluations of complex public health evaluations would be more achievable if programme implementation was integrated with improved national and local data collection, and robust quasi-experimental designs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Publisher: Swansea University
ISSN: 2399-4908
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 October 2023
Date of Acceptance: 19 December 2022
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2023 07:33

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics