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    ICPSR - InterUniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
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Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA) from ICPSR

The Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA) is the data archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care in the United States. Operated by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, HMCA preserves and disseminates data collected by selected research projects funded by the Foundation and facilitates secondary analyses of the data. 

The data collections in HMCA include surveys of health care professionals and organizations, investigations of access to medical care, surveys on substance abuse, and evaluations of innovative programs for the delivery of health care. Our goal is to increase understanding of health and health care in the United States through secondary analysis of RWJF-supported data collections.

Data files are often provided in multiple data formats. Every data file is supplied as an ASCII text file and, for many collections, in at least one other format as well, such as Stata files, SPSS portable files, and SAS transport files generated by the SAS XPORT engine or SAS CPORT procedure. SPSS portable and SAS transport files are the most common data formats besides ASCII.

Technical documentation typically includes the following:

  • study description that summarizes the collection
  • file manifest
  • bibliography of related literature
  • description of the study's methodology
  • data collection instrument(s)
  • data map/record layout of the ASCII data file(s)
  • variable descriptions
  • univariate frequencies (for most collections)

Study descriptions, file manifests, and bibliographies of related literature are presented as separate files. Other components of the documentation may be bundled in a single file or distributed among multiple files. Documentation files are provided in Portable Document Format (PDF) and/or as ASCII text files.

The setups, which usually contain complete variable and value labels and often include missing value declarations or recodes, can be used to create software-specific system files (e.g., SAS datasets) from the ASCII data files.



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September 13, 2010

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