Data linkage involves linking information about the same person from multiple sources. Over 89% of OHS participants have provided their consent for their data to be linked with administrative health records, such as the Ontario Cancer Registry or OHIP claims databases.
By linking questionnaire and biosample data from OHS participants with data from other sources, the sky’s the limit in terms of research questions that can be investigated. Here’s a few examples:
In 2015 Dr. Marc Berman combined OHS questionnaire data with the City of Toronto’s forestry records to quantify the positive effect of neighbourhood green space on individual health
Non-ICES researchers, students and knowledge users can access these data through the ICES Data & Analytic Services (ICES DAS). For a full list of ICES Data Repository datasets, including detailed descriptions of individual variables and their values, view the ICES Data Dictionary.
Accessing OHS-linked ICES data requires separate access requests to be submitted to OHS and ICES. To learn more about how to request OHS data that is linked to ICES data sets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OHS and Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario)
OHS de-identified data can be linked with the Ontario Cancer Registry, which is held at Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario).
Accessing OHS-linked Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) data requires separate access requests to both the OHS and Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario). To learn more about how to request OHS data that is linked to Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario)data sets, please email email@example.com.
OHS and CANUE
OHS de-identified data can also be linked to local environmental data held by the Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE).
How do researchers access questionnaire and biosample data that has been linked with other datasets? From our November 2019 newsletter, here’s an example of the path a researcher would take to access de-identified data about OHS participants that has been linked with cancer records: