Methodology

Abstract

This chapter describes the study population and the NT administrative datasets from which data were accessed for record linkage and de-identified analysis. The steps involved in the data linkage process are then described along with technical aspects of the data linkage work carried out for the project by the SA NT DataLink data linkage authority. This includes an analysis of the completeness, consistency and quality of the data linkage and the quality assurance checks carried out to maximise linkage precision. Next, the processes involved in preparing the linked data for analysis are described. These include the project’s data management, data security, and reporting arrangements and measures to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of individuals and communities in the study. The chapter then outlines the ethics and other approval processes governing researchers’ access to the linked data for the NHMRC partnership project’s program of research. The derivations of key demographic and other key variables are defined to ensure their consistency of use in the multiple analyses required for this and planned future publications. Special attention is given to documenting the implications of how Aboriginal status is best defined for analysis of data linked from separate data sources as these can differ in their quality and completeness of recording. The chapter concludes with discussion of post-colonial Indigenous standpoints on the limitations and potential risks of statistical analysis of ‘official’ administrative data concerning Indigenous people and an outline of how this has informed the study’s statistical approach

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