National Invitational Conference on Long-Term Care Data Bases: Conference Package. VI. PUBLIC USE FILES


There are 14 separate public use files, nine based on survey instruments, four based on analysis files and the project status file. Table 6 summarizes the content of the files at a general level and describes the purposes for which the data were collected.

TABLE 6. Summary of Public-Use File Contents
Public-Use File Sample Description Focus of Data Reports Contributing Analytical Variables
Screen Applicants randomized during the the caseload buildup phase. a The major purpose of the screening assessment was to determine whether an applicants was eligible to participate. It was intended to identify those at risk of institutionalization, focusing on age, place of residence, interest in participating, institutionalization status, functional impairment in performing activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), fragility of support system, and unmet needs. b
Baseline Applicants randomized during the caseload buildup phase who completed both a screen and a baseline instrument. The major purpose of the baseline instrument was to collect data on sample members at the point of enrollment, measuring functioning, health status, recent service use, informal caregiving, financial resources, demographic factors, and unmet needs. b
Client Tracking/Status Change All channeling clients. c The client tracking and status change forms were designed to allow client progress to be monitored through the channeling service system, as well as caseload size. The client tracking form included dates of referral to channeling, screening, randomization, care plan completion, and service initiation; the status change forms collected dates of change from active to inactive or terminated status and reasons for change of status.
  • Thornton, Will, and Davies, 1986.
  • Carcagno, et al., 1986.
Sample Member Followup: 6-Month File, 12-Month File, and 18-Month File Applicants randomized into the research sample during the caseload buildup phase who also completed a screening interview, a baseline interview, and a followup interview. The purpose of the followup interviews was to collect outcome data at 6, 12, and 18 months after enrollment. Outcomes included insurance coverage, health status, housing conditions, expenditures, related transfers and services, in-home service use and support, formal community service use, hospital and nursing home use, social and psychological well-being, income and assets, and functioning. -
Status File Applicants randomized during the caseload buildup phase. a The status file stores information about interview dates and completion (both complete and non-complete) status for each sample member, sample flags d, and information obtained from the death records search and Medicare and Medicaid entitlement checks.
  • Wooldridge and Schore, 1986.
Caregiver Baseline Primary informal caregivers (to a subset of those sample members included in the screen public-use file e) who completed a caregiver baseline interview. The caregiver baseline measured the amount of various types of informal services provided to the elderly sample members, the provision of financial contributions by informal caregivers, the economic and family behavior of informal caregivers, and caregiver psychological and social well-being.
  • Christianson and Stephens, 1984.
  • Christianson, 1986.
Caregiver Followups: 6-Month File and 12-Month File Primary informal caregivers (to a subset of those sample members included in the screen public-use file e) who completed a 6- or 12-month caregiver interview. The primary purpose was to collect data to assess the impacts of channeling on informal caregivers of elderly sample members. Questions focus on care by primary informal caregiver, as well as from other caregivers, the provision of financial contributions by informal caregivers, caregiving since institutionalization, formal services utilization prior to the death of the elderly sample member, caregiver well-being, and demographic and employment information.
  • Christianson, 1986.
Formal Community Services (including Case Management and Housing and Transfers) Analysis File Individuals who were members of at least one of the analysis samples on which these analyses were based. The formal community services analysis file was developed from the sample member followup interviews, provider record extracts, surveys of privately contracted individuals, financial records from the sites, and Medicare and Medicaid claims. It includes information on the use of all major community services and expenditures for these services, by funding source.
  • Corson et al., 1986.
  • Thornton and Dunstan, 1986.
  • Brown and Phillips, 1986.
Informal Care Analysis File Individuals who were members of at least one of the analysis samples on which this analysis was based. The informal care analysis file was developed from the sample member followup interviews. It includes information on the types and amounts of services provided by informal caregivers and the relationship of caregivers to sample members.
  • Christianson, 1986.
Hospital, Nursing Home, and Other Medical Services Analysis File Individiuals who were members of at least one of the analysis samples on which this analysis was based. Specifically, this file consists of persons who completed a baseline interview and who were known to be either Medicare entitled or not Medicare entitled. This file was developed from data obtained from Medicare and Medicaid claims, provider records extracts, and sample member followup interviews. Contained in this file is information on hospital, nursing home, and other medical service use and expenditures, by funding source.
  • Wooldridge and Schore, 1986.
Quality of Life Analysis File Individuals who were members of at least one of the analysis samples on which this analysis was based. The quality of life analysis file was developed from the sample member followup interviews. It includes information on elderly sample member satisfaction with care, social-psychological well-being, and functioning.
  • Applebaum and Harrigan, 1986.
  1. The caseload buildup phase began in March, May, or June 1982 and ended in May or June 1983, depending on the channeling project. There were applicants randomized during this phase who were not included in this sample; namely, those applicants who were members of the household of a treatment group client, fourteen cases whose screening survey instrument was lost in the mail, and one individual who was eliminated from all samples because, although assigned to the control group, the individual received channeling services.
  2. Screen and baseline standard control variables (contained in this file, as well as in most of the other files) were used in most of the reports listed below.
  3. Note that this sample includes clients who were not included in the samples used for the impact anlaysis--those individuals who enrolled before randomization began, those who were members of the household of a treatment client, and those who enrolled after the research sample size had been achieved and random assignment ceased.
  4. Sample flags are binary variables indicating membership in a survey or analysis sample.
  5. The caregiver subsample includes the caregivers named by the elderly sample members who were enrolled during an approximately six-month period beginning in November, 1982.

Confidentiality Precautions. For confidentiality reasons, some identifying variables were excluded from the public use files. Thus, for example, names and addresses and Medicare and Medicaid ID numbers were not included. Since the user must have a method for linking information on individuals across files, unique ID numbers are used to identify individual data. The ID numbers on the public use files are different from those used by MPR for fielding and analysis.

Additional confidentiality measures were taken. In order to avoid the possibility that one or more data items could identify, or nearly identify, an individual in a particular site, we reviewed the data and modified some fields. Variables indicating age were transferred from actual ages into age categories. In sites with very small minority populations, ethnicity was recorded by combining categories. In addition, calendar dates are not provided on the files. Instead, each data variable has been converted into a variable that indicates the number of days, screen randomization and the date of the event. Finally, we deleted information on legal guardianship.

Public Use File Formats. We converted the SAS data sets into sequential (EBCDIC) public use files from which each variable can be accessed by its column position, thus making the file readable in virtually every mainframe computer system.

Documentation Available. The public use file documentation consists of eleven reports, each of which documents one or more public use files. Each of the eleven reports contains three chapters:

I. Introduction (common to all reports)

II. Description of File

  • The development of the file
  • The variables included
  • The analysis samples included

III. File Documentation

  • File layout: the variables included in the file, by position and field length
  • Instrument: an annotated version of the survey instrument showing variable names assigned to each question (provided for source files only)
  • Constructed variable documentation: for each constructed variable a form is provided that describes how the variable was constructed and the values for different categories
  • Descriptive statistics: frequency distributions and means for all variables included on the file.
  • Physical tape specifications: information necessary to read the tape and a dump of the contents of the first two records on the tape

Copies of these 11 reports will be available for review at the breakout sessions of the conference.

Physical Tape Specifications: Table 7 summarizes the physical specifications of the tapes. Note that all files are available on tape, in EBCDIC. Files are density 6250, fixed block, and no label.

TABLE 7. Physical Specifications of Channeling Public Use files
File Logical Record Length Block Size Number of Records Number of Variables
Screen 471 4710 6326 182
Sample Member Baseline 1754 1754 5626 803
Informal Caregiver Baseline 1916 1916 1929 653
Sample Member Followup
  • 6-month
1857 1857 4189 782
  • 12-month
1857 1857 3634 782
  • 18-month
1857 1857 1409 782
Client Tracking 312 15,600 7168 103
Hospital, Nursing Home, Other Medical Services 1611 1611 5554 482
Formal Community Services 2884 2884 5607 656
Caregiver Followup
  • 6-month
2590 25900 1667 755
  • 12-month
2591 25910 1537 754
Informal Care Analysis 1359 13590 5408 387
Quality of Life 926 18520 4388 410
Status 411 14385 6326 142
All files are EBCDIC, fixed block, no label, 6250 BPI.

Access. All tapes are available from NTIS. An NTIS price list will be available at the breakout session.