Handbook of Theory and Methods in Applied Health Research
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Handbook of Theory and Methods in Applied Health Research

Questions, Methods and Choices

Edited by Catherine Walshe and Sarah Brearley

This Handbook expertly instructs the reader on how to conduct applied health research across a number of disciplines. Particularly aimed at postgraduate health researchers and students of applied health research, it presents and explains a wide range of research designs and other contemporary issues in applied health research.
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Chapter 14: Using and analysing secondary data

Anthony C. Gatrell


Before beginning any research in social science, it is important to ask if there are appropriate and accessible data-sets that are of potential use. There is a wealth of such secondary data available to the applied health researcher. In this chapter, I outline what is meant by secondary data, before considering why you might choose to use such data. I then describe a number of sources of widely used data, before describing four case studies that have employed such data in their research. These studies are taken from different fields of applied health research: public health; palliative care; mental health; and organizational health and well-being. In each case I describe in more detail the specific data-sets they have used. Since, as with many studies, they use logistic regression, I include a brief outline of what that technique involves.

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