The 45 and Up Study is a world-class resource that can overcome some of the barriers to carrying out research that is timely and useful for policy making. We can use the data we gather through the Study to inform policy and change practice.
Pooling our resources will see us find the right answers sooner and for less cost. The expense of recruiting and following up participants is reduced when large numbers of people are being followed as one cohort, or group, over a long period of time.
The Study’s value will continue to grow in coming decades as it helps identify who is most at risk for disease and the most important times for providing programs. But it is already being used in health decision making. Below are some examples, and you can also see a wrap up of our latest impact activities here:45 and Up impact
Helping older people stay independent
The Study data have been used in the Housing and Independent Living (HAIL) project to examine the living conditions of people in their 70s and to identify opportunities to help them to remain in independent living. The project findings and results are being used by the Office for Ageing.
The NSW Government is using Study data to understand the factors associated with healthy retirement. A report on this issue was presented to the Department of Premier and Cabinet and used by the Department to inform future policy making.
Potentially preventable hospitalisations
This ongoing project is investigating whether potentially preventable hospitalisations are a valid measure of the quality and affordability of primary and community care in Australia. Governments are concerned with finding ways to best measure the effectiveness of their health systems and the rate of potentially preventable hospitalisations is often used to track the progress of health reform in Australia and internationally. This work is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and involves three partner agencies with key roles in measuring the performance of health systems: the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care; the Agency for Clinical Innovation; and the Bureau of Health Information.
Can the 45 and Up Study inform your work?
We also offer policy and program agencies the opportunity to include a small number of targeted questions in our follow-up questionnaires, which are sent to around 50,000 participants in each follow-up phase.
Targeted questions enable you to supplement existing 45 and Up Study questions to address areas of particular interest to your work. For example, targeted questions have already been used to understand whether people have wills, whether they experienced difficulties in early life, whether they are satisfied with services and whether they have had shingles. They can also lay the ground work for identifying a sub set of participants who might be linked to other data or followed over time.