Table 3

Operationalisation of covariates from available data sources

CovariatesSource and examples of definitions that may be operationalised.
Sociodemographics PBS: age, sex, area of residence, beneficiary status (concessional, general and repatriation).
Prescription medicine use PBS: history of other medicine use, specified by drug class, for example, benzodiazepines.
Extent of comorbidity APC/APDC: application of the Charlson comorbidity index84; PBS: application of the RxRisk tool.85 86
Mental health history MH-AMB, MBS, PBS, EDDC and APC/APDC: treatment for mental disorders with medicines, mental healthcare plans, outpatient care or hospital admission.
History of suicidality EDDC and APC/APDC: prior visit for attempted suicide.
History of substance use problems PHDAS: opioid dependence treatment; MH-AMB: treatment where substance use problems flagged; EDDC/APC/APDC: prior alcohol or illicit drug-related admissions.
  • APC, Australian Capital Territory Admitted Patient Care; APDC, New South Wales Admitted Patients Data Collection; EDDC,  Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales Emergency Department Data Collections; MBS, Medicare Benefits Scheme; MH-AMB, Mental Health Ambulatory Collection; NDI, National Deaths Index; PBS, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; PHDAS, Pharmaceutical Drugs of Addiction System.