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The Administrative Data Research Network is an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 - July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, to be launched later in 2018.

Pilot of the HAGIS project (Healthy Ageing in Scotland)

Research overview

The pilot of the planned longitudinal study Healthy Ageing in Scotland (HAGIS) will follow individuals and households through time, focusing on people aged 50 and over in Scotland. Although per capita income in Scotland is similar to many Western European countries, it has a poor health record. Life expectancy at birth is closer to those in low-income Eastern European countries, and Scotland has high levels of disability and substantial health and income inequalities. Such deep-rooted economic, social and health issues are best understood with high quality longitudinal data.

 


Benefit

The information gathered in the pilot will help to influence the design and methodology of a full-scale study. It will also help to develop a picture of what life is like for those aged 50 years and over living in Scotland, which in turn may influence policy makers to implement policies that more effectively provide for the needs of our elderly population.

 


More about the research

The pilot of Healthy Ageing in Scotland (HAGIS) is the beginning of a planned longitudinal study - a study which follows individuals and households through time - focusing on people aged 50 and over in Scotland. There are several reasons why Scotland needs a longitudinal ageing study.

Scotland has a poor health record. Although per capita income in Scotland is similar to many Western European countries, life expectancy at birth is closer to those in low-income Eastern European countries. Scotland has high levels of disability and substantial health and income inequalities (Scottish Health Survey, 2010). It is acknowledged that such deep-rooted economic, social and health issues are best understood with high quality longitudinal data.

Over the last 20 years, the percentage of the Scottish population aged 50 and over has increased by 7%, and population projections suggest this increasing trend will continue (National Records of Scotland, midyear population estimates). The changing structure of the Scottish population means that there is likely to be an increased pressure on the demand for health and social care services. Understanding ageing in Scotland is therefore of particular importance to policy makers who are on the forefront of designing policy to deal with the issues associated with a burgeoning ageing population.

At present Scotland does not have a longitudinal study of ageing, which makes it unusual within Western Europe. This puts Scotland at a disadvantage in understanding its ageing population. HAGIS will join the worldwide family of longitudinal surveys of older people, which now covers around 80 per cent of the world’s population aged over 50 and will therefore be able to more fully understand our health and social needs through cross-country comparisons.

The HAGIS pilot will be interviewing 1,000 individuals aged 50 and over in Scotland and asking them questions about their health, economic and social circumstances. Specifically, participants will be asked questions on 11 topics. Those are: demographics; social circumstances; physical health; cognitive health; Activities of Daily Life (ADL) and helpers; employment situation; financial literacy; health behaviour; income and assets; expectations and retirement and social participation. There will also be a self-completion questionnaire that asks questions of a number of topics including loneliness, wellbeing, time and risk preference. Participants will also be invited to consent to having their survey data linked to their health and social care records.

The information gathered in the pilot will firstly help to influence the design and methodology of a full-scale version of HAGIS. Secondly, it will help to develop a picture of what life is like for those aged 50 years and over living in Scotland, which in turn may influence policy makers to implement policies that more effectively provides for the needs of our elderly population.


Date approved 

January 2016


Lead researcher

Elizabeth Lemmon, University of Stirling


Page last updated: 24/10/2017