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Multi-source datafile CCMS datasets

ALSWH has developed the Chronic Conditions from Multiple Sources (CCMS) datasets, to streamline your analyses. The task of harmonising numerous sources, and ascertaining relevant diagnoses, has already been done.

The CCMS is a group of datasets indicating whether eligible ALSWH women have any of the chronic conditions listed in the table below (more conditions will be added over time). CCMS datasets use all available data sources (surveys, administrative information, and linked external health record collections). The datasets include detailed information on the diagnoses used to evidence the condition, the sources for this information and dates thereof.

CCMS DatasetExternal linked data sourcesALSWH internal sources



care a,b
data c
dataset d
data e
Ischaemic Heart Disease⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿
Mental health⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿
Respiratory ⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿
a In addition to the regular collections, MBS and Aged Care data are also provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). DVA MBS and Aged Care data are only applicable to the two oldest ALSWH cohorts (1921-26 and 1946-51).
b Aged Care data sources are further classified in the CCMS dataset as: ACAP; ACFI; Home Care Packages; Veterans’ Home Care.
c Survey data is further classified as: Survey variables; Free text responses; Comments.
d The ALSWH Medications dataset is derived from survey data.
e ALSWH administrative data is further classified as: Reasons for withdrawal from surveys; Reasons why a proxy completed the survey.

The determination of whether an ALSWH participant has a particular chronic condition is complex. The CCMS methodology was developed by the ALSWH research team for our 2020 Major Report (The impact of multiple chronic conditions).  Further work followed, to enhance the CCMS and make it available for sharing.

Collaborating researchers may not have the time and resources to accurately reproduce this work. Variation in methodologies may produce inconsistent findings.

Further, the inclusion of ALSWH administrative data in the CCMS provides additional information, such as health reasons (where stated) for being unable to complete surveys.

There are currently 55,490 ALSWH women in the CCMS datasets (women who have opted out of health record linkage are excluded).

Eligibility criteria have been developed for each condition, including:

  • ICD codes
  • MBS/PBS Item numbers
  • Answers to survey questions
  • Terms (and their context) in free text data.

The weighting of evidence from among the sources varies by condition, to minimise over-reporting due to erroneous data, or short-term conditions. For example, a Cause of Death Code may have more weight than a self-reported condition, and MBS/PBS item numbers may not be definitive, so other criteria must also be met (such as set numbers of occurrences in the data source).

CCMS datasets contain the following indicative or summary variables for each condition:

  • Presence/ absence (1/0)
  • Date first recorded (MM-YYYY)
  • Number of sources in which the condition was present.

Additional variables in the dataset provide more detailed information on case ascertainment. Comprehensive documentation is provided in the CCMS Data Dictionary (to be published online soon).

CCMS datasets rely on linked data sources, therefore they must be requested on your EoI Form in the Linked Data Section, see Applying for data.

CCMS datasets are sufficient for many analyses, rather than using the source linked data collections. (However, you may also request the source collections, if you wish to include other aspects of health service use in your analyses).

The approvals required are the same as for the source datasets, as are the Conditions of use and publishing.

CCMS datasets will be updated annually; the current CCMS version is 2021.

The applicable periods or dates of coverage differ for each data source. The tables below summarise the data sources used in the CCMS dataset, 2021 version. For comprehensive information, by condition, please see the CCMS Data Dictionary (to be  published online soon).

1. CCMS: Linked data sources used||2. CCMS: ALSWH surveys used
Data sourceFrom
Year: Wave
Year: Wave
Cancer Registry a1982-20082016||1989-952013: 12019: 6
Deaths19962017||1973-781996: 12018: 8
MBS19962019||1946-511996: 12019: 9
PBS20022019||1921-261996: 12020: 6MF18 d
Aged Care b
Hospital admissions a1970-20072017-19||

a Varies by State
b Varies by Aged Care Program
You can also view details of all current ALSWH national and state linked data holdings. Recently updated collections will be included in the next annual CCMS version (2022).
c Not all Survey Waves are applicable to all conditions; inclusion depends on whether questions relevant to the given condition were asked in that Wave.
d After Wave 6 (that is, since 2011) short six-monthly surveys (‘6MF’) have been administered to the 1921-26 Cohort.
(More information on survey participation can be found here. Surveys and data books are also available).