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Obesity e-Lab Enabling obesity research using the Health Surveys for England: The Obesity e-Lab project Dexter Canoy The University of Manchester

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Presentation on theme: "Obesity e-Lab Enabling obesity research using the Health Surveys for England: The Obesity e-Lab project Dexter Canoy The University of Manchester"— Presentation transcript:

1 Obesity e-Lab Enabling obesity research using the Health Surveys for England: The Obesity e-Lab project Dexter Canoy The University of Manchester

2 Obesity as a Public Health Problem Increasing prevalence: by age, sex, ethnicity, SES A global phenomenon Chronic diseases Health costs Economic costs

3 Energy equation balance Social determinants T I M E Social determinants

4 Energy deficiency & excess in Cuba Rodriguez 2002, Public Health Nutr

5 Role of individual and society World Nation Region Local community Household Individual (modifiable) Individual (fixed)

6 Challenges in obesity research Requires social, behavioural, bio-medical and environmental perspectives Unfamiliarity with other domains of research communities: Lack of understanding of theoretical concepts underpinning the data collected by other disciplines Lack of awareness of relevant data sources: Secondary data sources Lack of sharing of reproducible packages of research incorporating data and data processes

7 Time-related changes in excess deaths due to obesity in the US NHANES: I – 1971 to 1975 II – 1976 to 1980 III – 1988 to 1991

8 The Obesity e-Lab project ESRC-funded project (Sept 2008 to Aug 2011) Investigators/project team from diverse background: – Public Health, Informatics, Statistics, Social Science, Epidemiology, Computer Science, Human Computing Interaction, Software Technical Architecture, Software Engineering, Education & Professional Development Work alongside other project teams (e.g., the e-Science community, text mining community, etc) Supported by stakeholders representing various groups (local health authority, leaders of obesity-related initiatives, etc.) Linking with UK Data Archive, ESDS, CCSR

9 The e-Lab model Secure, online environment that brings together DATA, RESEARCH METHODS, ANALYTICAL TOOLS, REFERENCES and INVESTIGATORS User workbench (software) DATAANALYSIS METHODS VISUALISATIONREFERENCE Research Question Sharing, collaboration Data and Methods

10 Obesity e-Lab model Data – Search and browse for relevant datasets and relevant variables across survey periods – Convenient access to supporting meta-data – Support valid comparisons of variables or databases across years – Download relevant dataset for further analyses Analysis and methods – Detailed record of users research process (from data selection to analysis) – Support users to link analysis with particular variables – Develop an archive of useful scripts and expertise Visualisation methods – Incorporate graphical and map-based analysis using geo-visualisation application Dynamic reference methods – Allow users to look and discover relevant work across disciplines – Linkage with variables, databases or other relevant survey documentation

11 User communities Academic researchers – Public health/Epidemiology/Medicine – Social Science NHS and DH data analysts (Public Health Intelligence Specialists) – Local public health decision making – Application of national directives to local context

12 The Obesity e-Lab development approach Engagement with academic research users – Novice and regular users of surveys Engagement with data custodians – UK Data Archive, ESDS Engagement with expertise in other domains – Technical architecture development Engagement with PCTs in the UK Northwest – Understand problems and processes – Identifying good practices – Planning training and support (eg, for professional development)

13 Potential use of Obesity e-Lab How can I compare local obesity prevalence to national sample? Are the factors influencing national obesity prevalence similar for my local area? (1) Could I do it myself? (2) Has anyone else done it? Or, Ive done something – can I share this to my colleague but not my supervisor just yet? Data (e.g., Health Survey for England) Analysis tools & Research Methods (2) (1) My Obesity e-Lab beta

14 Building the prototype Testing the technical architecture Search & download variables Variables are grouped into categories Browsing a category lets you view and select associated variables

15 Where are we now? Supporting the individual researcher Focus on the HSE Making it easier to find relevant variables within and across surveys Making it easier to understand what a variable means Automatically making a trail of what youre doing and what youve selected

16 Where are we now? Developing a community Sharing expertise and creating dialogue User profiles (similar to Facebook, MySpace) Sharing scripts, calculations, paper references Add comments to surveys, survey years or variables You choose who sees what – yourself, trusted colleagues, everyone




20 Related information to the variable can be read or accessed in the same page



23 Next steps Continue working with users – Explore what users want – Testing the next prototype – HSE training course Continue dialogue and engagement with other users of HSE – Is this concept interesting to you? – Can we ask about how you use HSE or other survey data?

24 Long-term vision Help promote use of secondary analysis of data sources Database from research projects can be created and shared – Project protocol and documentations – Workflow for extracting relevant subsets of the database – Structured container for the subsequent uses of the data extract (statistical scripts, result summaries, slides, manuscripts, reference lists, etc) Capturing, sharing and re-using research processes becomes routine Beyond obesity Beyond survey data


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