The ADR Wales Health and Well-being programme brings together health and administrative data with novel geospatial data to provide insights into health and well-being in Wales.
Led by Professor Ronan Lyons OBE and Associate Professors Richard Fry and Lucy Griffiths, this programme of work will provide insights into the role socio-environmental factors play in the inequalities that exist across Wales and how these impact on the health and well-being of the Welsh population.
The research programme aims to provide a robust policy evaluation of The Well-being of Future Generations Act and The Active Travel Wales Act. In support of the Programme for Government, the research team will generate new evidence for these policy areas through collaboration with key stakeholders Public Health Wales, Natural Resources Wales and HDR UK.
To date the research agenda has focused on providing analysis to guide the pandemic response in Wales and the UK. Through active membership of government advisory groups, the team has provided insights from linked data analyses into diverse policy areas, including social care, education, changes in service utilisation, risk to health care workers and wider geospatial modelling of Covid-19 infections at UK and Welsh levels. Alongside the Covid-19 recovery agenda the research team will evaluate the impacts of active living environments in promoting Active Travel and support other initiatives, including AD|ARC.
Looking ahead, research will focus on three core areas:
- characterisation of ‘Long Covid-19’ in the Welsh population and understanding the socio-environmental inequalities which drive it
- development of models of 24-hour exposures at home, to and from work, and in work, for a range of environmental factors in collaboration with ADR Scotland
- evaluation of the impacts of the built and natural environment on the health and well-being of the Welsh population.
The enactment of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 outlines Welsh Government’s commitment to the health and well-being of individuals across Wales. Given the wide-ranging nature of this topic we expect work to cut across multiple thematic research areas. Specifically, we have designed our approach to work closely with the climate change and social justice thematic research areas.
We plan numerous methodological projects for use in standalone research projects, but also to make available for wider use. Such projects include the creation of a home environment dataset; workplace linkage feasibility; and development of a well-being measure using routine data.
The home environment dataset involves the creation, combination, and analysis of multiple household factors to create a ‘household stress index’. Physical and environmental characteristics such as housing type, and air pollution exposures (bespoke computer models of the built and natural environments linked at household level) would be combined with social constructs such as family composition, overcrowding, and household comorbidity. Incorporating experiences of all householders would add an extra depth to our research, allowing research to account for household-level stresses within a family home, such as caring responsibilities. This would be used to understand associations with health and well-being, especially within vulnerable groups.
As an enabling project for the climate change thematic research area, we will seek to develop workplace linkage feasibility methodologies. This will facilitate linking and analysis of individual workers’ environmental exposures both at home and at work, potential active travel metrics (e.g. commuting distances), along with health records.
In tandem with our social justice work we will describe the health and wellbeing of vulnerable groups in Wales in terms of relative difficulties compared to the general population, or groups of people at similar life stages. We will provide insights to illustrate vulnerabilities and needs of certain groups relative to the general population, highlighting and promoting the need for support from various agencies.
We will investigate the feasibility of building on existing learnings to create an individual well-being measure aiming to understand population level well-being in Wales using routinely collected data.
Workplace data linkage
This project aims to create a method to link an individual to their workplace as a pilot study to prove the concept of the method. The research team aim to include, for instance, individuals from the teachers workforce in Wales. Environmental data such as pollution levels at home and at work will be included, as well as the potential for active travel through commuting distances.
General health and wellbeing for groups across Wales
This project will investigate the health and wellbeing of groups to illustrate difficulties and raise awareness for certain groups.
Individual wellbeing measures using routine data
This project will look at how can we harness routinely collected data to measure individual wellbeing. The project will include data relating to the individual, the home environment and area to try to understand and measure wellbeing.
Home environment wellbeing
This project will look at how can we harness routinely collected data to understand the impact of the home environment on an individual’s health and wellbeing, and if this approach be used to improve wider population level research.
Data Insight: Clinical coding and capture of Long COVID: a cohort study in Wales using linked health and demographic data
This Data Insight investigates clinical coding of Long COVID recorded in primary and secondary care for the population of Wales. It provides insight into the quality of this clinical coding and how it is used differently across primary care software systems. It also explores the completeness and usability of linked health and demographic data. Furthermore, this study provides a comprehensive characterisation of patients clinically diagnosed with Long COVID, aiming to build a deeper understanding of this relatively new condition.
Report: Supporting People data linking project: update
This project follows on from, and is informed by, the Supporting People data linking feasibility study and Supporting People data linking emerging findings report, using legacy Supporting People data from five local authorities in Wales (from 2003 to 2020). The Supporting People programme was replaced by the Housing Support Grant in 2019.
This report analyses the demographics of Supporting People to understand who received support from the programme. In addition, it outlines findings from analysis that linked Supporting People data with healthcare data in the SAIL databank to understand the healthcare utilisation of Supporting People clients before and after they received support.
Data Insight: Exploring the complex relationship between legislation, policies and research: Built Environments And Child Health in WalEs and AuStralia (BEACHES)
This Data Insight focuses on the work being carried out by the Built Environments And Child Health in WalEs and AuStralia (BEACHES) team in Swansea University. BEACHES is a joint initiative between Swansea University, the Telethon Kids Institute, and the University of Western Australia, with collaborators from Curtin University, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, and University of Southern Denmark. It provides a summary of key Welsh legislation and policy areas on the built environment and child health.