DAta Linkage to Enhance Cancer Care (DaLECC): Protocol of a Large Australian Data Linkage Study

Laura C. Edney, Jackie Roseleur, Tim Bright, David I. Watson, Gaston Arnolda, Jeffrey Braithwaite, Geoffrey P. Delaney, Winston Liauw, Rebecca Mitchell, Jonathan Karnon

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Cancer is a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality, accounting for 250 Disability-Adjusted Life Years and 10 million deaths in 2019. Minimising unwarranted variation and ensuring appropriate cost-effective treatment across primary and tertiary care to improve health outcomes is a key health priority. There are few studies that have used linked data to explore healthcare utilisation prior to diagnosis in addition to post-diagnosis patterns of care. This protocol outlines the aims of the DaLECC project and key methodological features of the linked dataset. The primary aim of this project is to explore predictors of variations in pre- and post-cancer diagnosis care, and to explore the economic and health impact of any variation. The cohort of patients includes all South Australian residents diagnosed with cancer between 2011 and 2020, who were recorded on the South Australian Cancer Registry. These cancer registry records are being linked with state and national healthcare databases to capture health service utilisation and costs for a minimum of one-year prior to diagnosis and to a maximum of 10 years post-diagnosis. Healthcare utilisation includes state databases for inpatient separations and emergency department presentations and national databases for Medicare services and pharmaceuticals. Our results will identify barriers to timely receipt of care, estimate the impact of variations in the use of health care, and provide evidence to support interventions to improve health outcomes to inform national and local decisions to enhance the access and uptake of health care services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5987
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Early online date29 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • cancer
  • comorbidities
  • cost analysis
  • cost effectiveness
  • economic burden
  • economic evaluation
  • health services research
  • patient outcomes
  • primary care
  • quality of life
  • survivorship


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