Table 1

Datasets used for linkage in the Colorectal cancer outcomes in people with Severe Mental Illness (COSMIC) study

DatabaseDescriptionKey variables of interest
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)Contains data on use of prescription medications that qualify for subsidy by the Australian Government. This databased will be used to identify those with SMI (based on ATC codes N05AE, N05AX, N05AL, N05AH and streamlined authority codes specifically for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). It will also be used to examine cancer treatments in the NSW cohort (ATC codes: L01, L03, L04)PBS drug item; prescriber specialty and type; repeat prescriptions and number of scripts dispensed; quantity supplied; date of supply; streamlined authority codes
Medicare Enrolments FileContains a list of all people within Australia (citizens and permanent residents) enrolled to receive Medicare benefits (Australia’s universal health system). This database will be used to select the comparison group (those with no SMI).Month and year of birth; sex; postcode (for area-level socioeconomic status)
Australian Cancer DatabaseContains records of all new cases of malignant cancer diagnosed in Australia (exc. basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas). Cancer is a notifiable disease in all Australian states and territories.Type of cancer (ICD-10); state of cancer registration; date of diagnosis; age at diagnosis; topography; morphology; date of death; underlying cause of death
National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (NBCSP)Contains all records from the NBCSP relating to invitations, completed screening and results, follow-up colonoscopy invitations, completions and results.Screening programme invitation date; participation (incuding opting out of the programme) and date; screening results; colonoscopy invitation and date; colonoscopy completion; colonoscopy results (no of polyps, site and size of polyps); cancer status; primary site of cancer
Medicare Benefits ScheduleContains data on Medicare-subsidised health services utilised by individuals enrolled to receive Medicare benefits (Australia’s universal health system).Attendance and frequency of attendance of General Practitioners and other Enhanced Primary Carers; Specialists; Clinical Psychologists and other psychologist services; sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy/NBCSP colonoscopy/FOBT item use
National Death IndexContains records of all deaths registered in Australia. Data is obtained from Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages in each state, the National Coronial Information System and the Australian Bureau of StatisticsDate of death; cause of death and contributing causes of death (ICD codes)
NSW Admitted Patient Data CollectionContains records of all admitted patient services provided by NSW public hospitals, public psychiatric hospitals, public multipurpose services, private hospitals and private day procedures centres.Data on each episode of care including: episode of care type; facility type; date of admission and separation; principal diagnoses and additional diagnoses (to derive comorbidities); procedures undergone; source of referral and separation referrals
NSW Cancer RegistryRecords all new cases of malignant cancer (exc. basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas) and clinical data relating to episodes of cancer care for people treated for cancer in the state of NSW. This database will be used to identify all cases of CRC (ICD codes C18, C19, C20) in NSWCRC diagnosis; date of diagnosis; age at diagnosis; tumour, nodes, metastases (TNM) staging and degree of spread; cancer typography and morphology; modalities of cancer care received
  • CRC, colorectal cancer; FOBT, Faecal Occult Blood Test; ICD-10, International Classification of Diseases V.10; NSW, New South Wales; SMI, severe mental illness; ;TNM, tumour, nodes, metastases.