Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

Current Projects

Project Title:

Understanding the factors associated with receiving social care for people aged 65 years and older in Scotland.

Project Number:



Dr Helen Corby, Prof Chris Dibben, Dr Matthew Iveson, Dr Tom Russ, Prof Ian Deary, University of Edinburgh.

Start Date:



Scotland’s ageing population means that increasing numbers of elderly people will be needing care provision in coming years. Understanding what influences the need for care can inform both policy and interventions aimed at promoting maintained independence in later-life.

This study aims to describe the distribution of people receiving social care in Scotland and identify the factors associated with receipt of informal and/or formal care. The study will investigate the odds of receiving care associated with a range of socio-demographic, health and geographical factors, including: age, sex, marital status, urban/rural location, housing tenure, cohabiting with family/others, deprivation, long term illness, educational attainment, household composition, local care provision (external data) and local health board. These factors have been identified elsewhere as good predictors of care-entry in other populations. The study will also look at novel factors such as population density, house type and recent employment/work. This study is part of a larger project investigating social care in Scotland – previously SLS data of people aged 65+ at the 1991 census were followed-up in 2001 (cohort 1). This study aims to create two further cohorts; Cohort 2 – people 65+ at the 2001 census, followed-up in 2011; and Cohort 3 – people aged 65 and older in 1991, followed-up in both 2001 and 2011. There will be some overlap between these cohorts, so analysis will account for this. To amend methodological issues from the previous study with cohort 1, SLS members who die/exit Scotland between censuses will not be excluded, instead migration, death and care-entry flag data will be linked to SLS data – this will allow survival analysis to be carried out. A further aim, is to consider changes over time in Scotland; eg. the impact of a 2002 social care policy change and changing household composition on the factors associated with care-entry.


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