Understanding place and health: A heuristic for using administrative data
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The increasing availability, use and limitations of administrative data for place-based population health research, and a lack of theory development, created the context for the current paper. We developed a heuristic to interrogate administrative data sets and to help us develop explanatory pathways for linking place and health. Guided by a worked example, we argue that some items in administrative data sets lend themselves to multiple theories, creating problems of inference owing to the implications of using inductive versus deductive reasoning during the research process, and that certain types of theories are privileged when used administrative data bases.
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