Online Program

Linking Data From Multi-Sector Partnerships for a Comprehensive Investigation of Firearm Possession Policies: Benefits and Challenges

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jennifer Hernandez-Meier, PhD, MSW, Injury Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Amy Schlotthauer, MPH, Injury Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Stephen W. Hargarten, MD, MPH, Injury Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Peter Layde, MD, MSc, Injury Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Clare Guse, MS, Family and Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Background: Linked data sets provide more comprehensive information than single data sources alone. Obtaining data sets for linkages requires adherence to the data use agreements set forth by the home agency, which often prohibit sharing data with other entities. This project links data to the Wisconsin Violent Death Reporting System (WVDRS) to inform the current debate on evidence- and risk-based firearm possession criteria.  

Methods/Approach: The study team obtained WVDRS data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Additional data on criminal history and operating while intoxicated offenses are added through data use and sharing agreements with a private agency and two governmental agencies.

Results: Multi-sector partnerships were necessary to create linked data. The requirements for obtaining data differed according to the source, often requiring labor intensive data use agreements. Once data access permission was obtained between the study team and the data source, the study team had to navigate data sharing agreements in order to successfully link data across all three sources. Barriers with facilitating data access and sharing across a private company, two governmental agencies and an academic institution are described.

Conclusions: Linked data sets and partnerships are beneficial and necessary for comprehensive public health research—but there can be challenges. Overall, we hope that describing how we adhere to our rigorous research plan, while balancing the requirements of our academic institution and partners, and remaining sensitive to organizational cultures and expectations will benefit others who wish to utilize partnerships to comprehensively investigate public health issues through linked data.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe potential partnerships for engaging in injury and public health research. Evaluate the benefits and challenges to partnering with other entities for research. Identify strategies to prevent and address challenges to multi-sector partnerships.

Keyword(s): Data Collection and Surveillance, Violence & Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Co-Investigator on the project and facilitated many of the described partnerships and agreements. I have worked in social science and public health research for over seven years and am a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.