The Data-linkage Alcohol Cohort Study (DACS): Investigating mortality, morbidity, and offending among people with an alcohol-related problem using linked administrative data
Dr Amy Peacock
Professor Louisa Degenhardt
Associate Professor Tim Dobbins
Dr Sarah Larney
Dr Natasa Gisev
Dr Janni Leung
Ms Vivian Chiu
Dr Sallie-Anne Pearson
Dr Adrian Dunlop
This project will assemble a retrospective observational cohort of people presenting to emergency department and hospital inpatient services with an acute alcohol harm and/or problematic alcohol use. The project seeks to examine the epidemiology of alcohol-related harms through the information of hospitalisation, emergency department presentations, cancer notifications, mental health ambulatory care, mortality, offending, and incarceration.
The overall objective of this program of research is to use linked health and law enforcement data to establish and describe individuals presenting to emergency and inpatient health care services with an acute alcohol harm or problematic alcohol use; measure their health service utilisation and law enforcement engagement; and quantify morbidity, mortality, offending and incarceration among this cohort.
Specific aims include:
- Describe the cohort at their first point of contact with emergency department or inpatient hospital services within the study period for an acute alcohol harm and/or problematic alcohol use;
- Quantify healthcare service utilisation and law enforcement engagement among the cohort and assess individual and situational characteristics as predictors of frequency of engagement;
- Quantify the rate of mortality, morbidity, offending and incarceration amongst the cohort, looking at overall rates and cause-specific outcomes where possible; and
- Assess individual and situational characteristics as predictors of mortality, morbidity, offending and incarceration.
This program of research will provide a comprehensive population-level understanding of the burden of problematic alcohol use on individuals and on healthcare and law enforcement services. It will extend knowledge of individual and situational factors that predict adverse alcohol-related outcomes, with the capacity to inform personalised intervention. The patterns of healthcare utilisation will also improve our knowledge of patient needs to enhance healthcare delivery for targeted populations. The multi-dimensional measurement of diverse events produced by this project can better reflect the scale and impact of alcohol-related problems which may be under-ascertained in the study of a single dataset.
Read more on the NDARC website.