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Using Primary Care and Emergency Department Datasets for Researching Violence Victimisation in the UK: A Methodological Review of Four Sources

Fadeeva, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-0919-2761, Barbosa, E. C. ORCID: 0000-0001-8282-131X, Walker, A. & McManus, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-2711-0819 (2024). Using Primary Care and Emergency Department Datasets for Researching Violence Victimisation in the UK: A Methodological Review of Four Sources. Social Sciences, 13(3), article number 147. doi: 10.3390/socsci13030147


Violence is recognised as a cause of health harm, but it is not consistently or adequately captured in healthcare data systems. While administrative health records could be valuable sources of information for measuring violence, they remain underutilised in violence-related research. The present research aims to examine the suitability of violence indicators in emergency care, primary care, and linked healthcare datasets. Descriptive analyses were conducted with the 2015/16 Hospital Episode Statistics Accident and Emergency (HES A&E) and the 2021/22 Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS). The potential of the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and the South Wales Violence Surveillance dataset (a police and emergency department (ED) dataset linked by Public Health Wales) were shown using available evidence. Among the discussed datasets, the South Wales Violence Surveillance dataset has the most detail about violent acts and their contexts, while the CPRD includes a more extensive range of socioeconomic factors about patients and extensive linkage with other datasets. Currently, detailed safeguarding information is routinely removed from the ECDS extracts provided to researchers, limiting its utility for violence research. In the HES A&E, only physical violence was consistently recorded. Addressing these issues has the potential to improve the use of health administrative data in research on violence.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Publisher Keywords: violence; abuse; health services; administrative health data; public health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs
School of Policy & Global Affairs > Violence and Society Centre
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of socsci-2814493 - fc-done_updated-2.docx] Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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