General Information on the Use of Restricted Data From the National Survey of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Problems [Healthcare for Communities], 1997-1998
This document contains the instructions and forms needed for researchers interested in obtaining restricted data from the National Survey of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Problems [Healthcare for Communities], 1997-1998 conducted by the UCLA Health Services Research Center (HSRC) for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). These data are disseminated by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), which serves as an agent for RWJF.
About This Application and Healthcare for Communities (HCC)
Healthcare for Communities, conducted by the HSRC, provides data to foster the monitoring and understanding of changes in the health care system and their effects. One important component of the HCC, the National Survey of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Problems, gathers information on demographics; health status and daily activities; mental health; drug and alcohol use; medications; general health insurance and insurance coverage for mental health; substance abuse and prescription medication; access, utilization and quality of behavioral health care; labor market status; income and wealth; and life difficulties. This survey information is available in restricted use microdata files.
The HSRC promised anonymity to survey respondents, a promise they take very seriously. Because respondents provide large amounts of detailed information, it is possible that data in the HCC data files could be used to identify individuals and households. Such a breach of confidentiality would be very costly. It would destroy the trust that respondents placed in the HSRC and in the research community as a whole. Individuals would be less willing to participate in future HCC data collection efforts and in similar studies. Moreover, the HSRC and ICPSR would face liability for damages that might occur as a result of disclosing personal information.
Because of the damage that could be caused by a breach of confidentiality, HSRC and ICPSR have gone to great lengths to prevent this from happening, by omitting personal identifiers and adjusting certain responses through aggregation and other data-masking procedures in the restricted use version of the survey. As one result of these measures, the restricted use data do not support analyses below the level of the HCC sites.
Access to the restricted dataset is limited to researchers who agree to the terms and conditions contained in the National Survey of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Problems [Healthcare for Communities], 1997-1998 Restricted Data Use Agreement. Furthermore, access to the restricted use dataset is limited to researchers employed by an organization possessing a current NIH Multiple Project Assurances (MPA) Certification Number or Federal Wide Assurances (FWA) Certification Number (typically research-oriented universities). Access for individuals employed by organizations that do not have an MPA Certification Number or FWA Certification Number may be obtained, however, upon the submission, review, and approval of the Application's Item #8, as well as the documents described in the following section.
University students may gain access to the restricted data, but a faculty advisor must serve as Restricted Data Investigator. The faculty advisor and institution bear full responsibility for ensuring that all conditions of the agreement are met by the student, who must sign the Supplemental Agreement With Research Staff form.
Applying for Use of Restricted Data
Applicants must submit the following items to ICPSR:
- Application for National Survey of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Problems [Healthcare for Communities], 1997-1998 Restricted Data
- Current CVs of all researchers who will be working on the project. CVs of support staff (e.g., research assistants, programmers) are not required.
- A detailed Data Protection Plan (see instructions)
- A completed and original signature copy of the National Survey of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Problems [Healthcare for Communities], 1997-1998 Restricted Data Use Agreement for each organization involved in the proposed project.
- A completed and original signature copy of the Supplemental Agreement with Research Staff for each member of the research team other than the Restricted Data Investigator who will have access to the data, including Co-Principal Investigators, if any.
The National Survey of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Problems [Healthcare for Communities], 1997-1998 Restricted Data Use Agreement is a legal document between the researcher, her/his employer, and ICPSR. Changes in the employment status of the researcher require the completion of a new National Survey of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Problems [Healthcare for Communities], 1997-1998 Restricted Data Use Agreement.
ICPSR will have full discretion in deciding whether the applicant meets eligibility criteria and whether the Data Protection Plan is adequate. ICPSR may request additional information from applicants or request changes to the Data Protection Plan. If ICPSR decides all requirements are met, a representative from ICPSR will sign the National Survey of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Problems [Healthcare for Communities], 1997-1998 Restricted Data Use Agreement and return a copy of the fully executed agreement to the applicant along with instructions for obtaining a copy of the data.
If during the course of the research project, new staff are added who will have access to the data, signed copies of the Supplemental Agreement must be sent to ICPSR. Access to the data cannot be provided to these staff members until the Supplemental Agreements are signed by an ICPSR representative and returned to the Restricted Data Investigator.
Research Teams Consisting of Persons Employed at Different Organizations
Because the researcher and her/his employer are both parties to the National Survey of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Problems [Healthcare for Communities], 1997-1998 Restricted Data Use Agreement, multiple Agreements must be executed when members of a research team with access to the restricted data are employed by different organizations. A separate Agreement must be executed with each organization involved in the project. For instance, when researchers employed at different universities collaborate on the research project, a Restricted Data Investigator must be designated at each university and each university must execute its own Agreement. When a researcher contracts with a firm to perform programming services using the restricted data, both the researcher's organization and the firm performing the programming must have separate Agreements. (Self-employed persons with no institutional affiliation may not gain access to the restricted data).
When the project involves multiple organizations, the Data Use Agreements for each organization must be submitted to ICPSR together in a single package. This package should include a cover letter identifying the single Principal Investigator who will serve as primary contact for the entire research team. This primary contact must serve as the Restricted Data Investigator (i.e., signatory to the agreement) in his or her employer's Agreement. Other organizations involved in the project should designate the most senior team member (i.e., the team member that holds the greatest authority over other team members from that organization) as their organization's Restricted Data Investigator.
Where to Submit Applications
All application materials described in the previous section, "Applying for Use of Restricted Data," should be mailed to:
Health and Medical Care Archive
P.O. Box 1248
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
Mailing options which require a street address should be sent to:
Health and Medical Care Archive
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Questions about this application for the use of restricted data may also be sent to the above address or forwarded via facsimile (734) 647-8700 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).