Q. I am looking for data sets from research conducted on telehealth, specifically for diabetes care.

My professor suggested that I look for data sets on the website of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). I also contacted the Am. Telemedicine Association, seeking guidance. They sent me the attached report ("Telehealth: Mapping the Evidence for Patient Outcomes From Systematic Reviews"), which may contain references to research studies relevant to my topic.

Can you help me to find research data sets?


As I mentioned earlier today, the library doesn't subscribe to any comprehensive databases of data sets (nor are we aware of any databases like this that are available commercially).  As we also discussed, when researchers publish primary research papers, they often describe their data in different ways, but they do not typically include the data sets with the article.  (Sometimes you can find additional data that has been included by the author in supplementary materials with the article, ie, data that is more detailed than what is presented in the paper.  To find complete data sets in this way would be unlikely, though).

I reviewed your question and the documents you provided with my colleague, and can make some suggestions for how to proceed with the aquisition of data sets.  

  1. Contact the AHRQ.  I searched their site, but did not find indications of data sets that are relevant to your work.  As you've probably seen, though, AHRQ has at least one data set on their site, and have a process for accessing it.  Based on this, and their expertise, it may be worthwhile to see if they can direct you to any data sets containing research on telehealth.
  2. Contact authors.  Contacting the American Telemedicine Association was a good idea, and I think the document that they  provided should include many examples of primary research on your topic.  Consider reviewing the References listed in this document, and identifying the papers which match your topic.  In particular, you should look for any that are noted as a "meta analysis".  Authors of these analyses would have worked with the data sets for each study they included in their analysis, so these authors may be able to help you further.
  3. CCHP.  The Center for Connected Health Policy has also cataloged telehealth research (some can be found here: http://www.cchpca.org/research-catalogues.)  You may want to review their site, and consider contacting them seeking data sets.

As you search, be aware that the keywords "telemedicine/tele-medicine and telehealth/tele-health may be used interchangeably. 

I hope this helpful.  Please let us know if you need more help with your project.


  • Last Updated Dec 11, 2018
  • Views 665
  • Answered By Chris Wieman

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