PhD Studentships The Residential Mobility of Mental Health Service Users

Supervisors: Professor Graham Moon

Funding availability: TBA, may be eligible for studentship linked to the Administrative Data Research Centre for England

The aim of this research is to enhance understanding of the residential mobility of patients receiving NHS in-patient mental health treatment.  How, over time, are patterns of movement related to area socio-economic conditions?  There is little knowledge on the residential mobility of mental health service users with standard hypotheses derived from US work of some vintage. There are significant policy implications around lost contacts for service continuity.

The primary source of information will be the Mental Health Minimum Dataset (MHMDS) for England held by HSCIC for the period 2006-12. Comparator data will be drawn from Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and outpatient data. Individuals can be a tracked using a pseudonymized Person ID consistent across the period. Permitting places of treatment and residence to be geo-located and a multilevel longitudinal analysis undertaken of individual and area variables to predict the numbers of moves over the study period.

It is intended that the student will undertake this research through the new Administrative Research Centre for England which will provide a secure environment for data management in which cohorts of case and comparison data will created from the cross-sectional data. Only aggregated results will be taken out of the ADRCE for publication. To determine whether trajectories of people with mental illness are distinctive, we will compare data for those with mental illnesses with a comparator sample of those treated for conditions that are also likely to give rise to multiple hospital admissions (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the initial candidate possibility).  We hypothesise that patients with psychiatric illness are more mobile. The study will ascertain (a) whether the first and last place of residence are the same or different, in terms of location, socio-economic conditions, IMD/IM, area classification and urban/rural status and health service provision, and (b) the extent to which psychiatric admissions are becoming more or less concentrated in specific types of area. The choice of comparator condition will be determined on inspection of the HES data and following clinical advice and the study subject to approval through the new procedures being developed for research applications to the Administrative Data Service.

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