Protocol for evaluation of enhanced models of primary care in the management of stroke and other chronic disease (PRECISE): A data linkage healthcare evaluation study

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Introduction: The growing burden of chronic diseases means some governments have been providing financial incentives for multidisciplinary care and self-management support delivered within primary care. Currently, population-based evaluations of the effectiveness of these policies are lacking. Aim To outline the methodological approach for our study that is designed to evaluate the effectiveness (including cost) of primary care policies for chronic diseases in Australia using stroke as a case study. Methods: Person-level linkages will be undertaken between registrants from the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR) and (i) Government-held Medicare Australia claims data, to identify receipt or not of chronic disease management and care coordination primary care items; (ii) state government-held hospital data, to define outcomes; and (iii) government-held pharmaceutical and aged care claims data, to define covariates. N=1500 randomly selected AuSCR registrants will be sent surveys to obtain patient experience information. In Australia, unique identifiers are unavailable. Therefore, personal-identifiers will be submitted to government data linkage units. Researchers will merge the de-identified datasets for analysis using a project identifier. An economic evaluation will also be undertaken. Analysis The index event will be the first stroke recorded in the AuSCR. Multivariable competing risks Poisson regression for multiple events, adjusted by a propensity score, will be used to test for differences in the rates of hospital presentations and medication adherence for different care (policy) types. Our estimated sample size of 25,000 patients will provide 80% estimated power (α >0.05) to detect a 6-8% difference in rates. The incremental costs per Quality-adjusted life years gained of community-based care following the acute event will be estimated from a health sector perspective. Conclusion: Completion of this study will provide a novel and comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Australian primary care policies. Its success will enable us to highlight the value of data-linkage for this type of research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Population Data Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2019


  • Chronic Disease
  • Data Linkage
  • General Practitioner
  • Policy
  • Primary Health Care
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Stroke

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