SPECTRUM Consortium

Developing and integrating new data sources to inform action

Work Package Three: New Data

Work Package Investigators: Jamie Brown, Lion Shahab, University College London, Graham Moore, Cardiff University.

 

Aim: To develop and integrate responsive novel data sources to inform, refine and evaluate systems-level interventions. 

 

Objectives:  

  • Expand detailed monthly surveillance of preventable risk factors across Great Britain and constituent nations using new participatory methods to refine data collection in response to evolving policymaker needs and public interest; 
  • Develop and apply new methods from applied statistics and economics for integrating data and forecasting new trends, and build towards a microsimulation model of smoking and quitting in Great Britain to identify emergent effects from divergent policy scenarios. 

 

Methods and Data Sources:

In response to requests from policymakers, we will expand an existing informative data source in England – the Smoking and Alcohol Toolkit Study (STS/ATS) (www.smokinginengland.info and www.alcoholinengland.info) – to other nations in Great Britain. Each month Ipsos Mori will carry out a panel of 30-minute home-based interviews using a tablet computer with ~450 adults in Wales and ~600 adults in Scotland, in addition to the ~1700 adults currently interviewed in England. Each monthly sample is designed to be representative of the population of England, Wales and Scotland aged 16+, using an established and verified methodology based on random selection of small areas of ~250 households. The survey will be reviewed monthly and refined in response to evolving policymaker needs and public interests on the basis of data collection and analyses specified in WP8.  

 

We will work with WP4, 6 & 7 to develop and apply new methods from applied statistics and economics for evaluation and forecasting. This will include a partnership with leading private sector data scientists (Sandtable) to improve visualisation and communication of these analyses. As a test case for other unhealthy commodities, our initial strategy will focus on building the foundations of a microsimulation model of smoking and quitting in Great Britain, drawing on standard cross-sectional associations as well as time series analyses based on the rich data obtained from the above surveys. Expanding the STS/ATS to Wales and Scotland will also enable us to evaluate natural experiments created by heterogeneity in systems-level interventions across devolved nations, thus allowing us to identify emergent effects from divergent policy scenarios targeting unhealthy commodities. Landmark policies are likely to include the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Wales in 2020, restrictions on the number and clustering density of tobacco retailers in Scotland by 2022, and policy divergence arising after the UK leaves the EU.