Psychological research with administrative data sets: An underutilized strategy for mental health services research

James T. Walkup, Philip T. Yanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

A key element in the identity of professional psychologists is their commitment to base practice on the best knowledge available about a problem being tackled. Although administrative data (e.g., records of provider billing and procedures) can often shed light on the dark areas of the complex U.S. health care system, psychologists make notably little use of them. Experience teaches that decisions must often be made despite the absence of "gold standard" knowledge from the well-designed, controlled studies learned in graduate school. Increased involvement of psychologists in work using administrative data can improve service provision but requires that psychologists adopt unaccustomed approaches to research. The authors discuss administrative data's strengths and limitations, recent progress made in using them, how psychologists can acquire and use low-cost information from administrative data, and examples of questions that can be answered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-557
Number of pages7
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology

Keywords

  • Evaluation
  • Health services
  • Insurance
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare

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