How to use the Catalogue

The purpose of the Catalogue is to provide easy access to information about mental health and wellbeing measures collected in British cohort and longitudinal studies. It provides details of the measures and studies and is designed to serve as a resource for researchers seeking data that include mental health and wellbeing measures; planning harmonisation studies; or planning further data collection.

Using the Catalogue

The Catalogue can be browsed in a number of different ways depending on your interests and needs. You can search the Catalogue for:

  • Mental health or wellbeing topics. For example, if you are looking for a study that has measures of depression, you could search ‘depression’.
  • Particular mental health measures. For example, if you know you are interested in the General Health Questionnaire, you could search for ‘GHQ’ or '"general health questionnaire"'.
  • Other areas of interest. This is particularly useful if you wish to examine the association between mental health and another topic you are interested in. In this case, you can use the filters on the left of the search page to filter for studies that have collected information about themes such as ‘ethnicity and race’, ‘diet and nutrition’, ‘physical health’ or ‘education’. 
  • Study design. In this case you could search for ‘birth cohort’, ‘twin’ or ‘repeat cross-sectional’ studies.
  • Study name. If you already know which study you are interested in, you can also search for the study name.

Search terms can be combined to narrow the list of studies down to those which meet your needs.

Once you have identified a study that has collected data you are interested in, click the study name to navigate to the study page. This page provides information about the study’s aims, sample and data access policies. The mental health measures timeline at the bottom of the page provides information about the study sweeps/participant ages at which mental health and wellbeing measures were collected, with each dot on the timeline representing a data collection point. Here you can browse the measures collected at each point by clicking on the dot or search for a particular mental health or wellbeing topic or instrument in the search bar. Sweeps with measures that match your search terms will be indicated with a tree icon.

When you have found a measure you are interested in, click the plus sign to get more information about the:

  • Items
  • Response scale
  • Reporting period

Below each study timeline, you will see the 'sweep level information' section which displays information the particular sweep, such as the sweep name, the age of the cohort members, and the data collection period. Here you can also see any physical health measures collected during an assessment.

Most studies on the Catalogue are displayed using one single timeline. However, a double timeline is occasionally used to display longstanding studies with many more assessments. Each point on the top line of a double timeline represents a range of sweeps which, when selected, display individual sweeps on the line below. Watch the video below to see how the double timeline works.

To learn more about accessing data from the study, scroll up to find information about the study’s data access policy.

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