The information content of the register comprises baseline and follow-up questionnaires, information collected during health check-ups by occupational health nurses of the occupational health services as well as the information of the personnel register of the City of Helsinki, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), the National Institute for Health and Welfare, and the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Statistics Finland.
The information content of the registers used in the study and the time period during which the information is used are described in more detail below.
During the follow-up, the survey data, information from the health check-ups as well as information on sickness absence, sociodemographic factors and residential areas in the personnel register of the City of Helsinki will be combined on those research participants who have given their informed consent for the linkage. The information will be combined with computers of the University of Helsinki. In addition, during the follow-up, permission to use and to combine register information with the survey and health check-up data are requested from the register holders (the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Kela, the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Statistics Finland). A separate application with the research plan is submitted to each register data holder. The information is mainly combined with a computer of the University of Helsinki. The persons whose information is registered have been informed that the register information will be combined with the survey and the check-ups performed by an occupational health nurse. Information is requested and combined with the survey responses only if the respondents have given their informed consent for combining the information.
In the register study section of the Helsinki Health Study, information in the personnel register of the City of Helsinki is combined with information obtained from other registers. In this case, the survey responses are not used.
The module files of the study are
1. Address register, content: name, work address, home address and social security number.
2. Survey. In the baseline phase, data were collected in three phases in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The first follow-up survey was conducted in 2007 and the following surveys in 2012 and 2017 (for the new cohort, the 2017 survey is the baseline survey).
3. Information collected at health check-ups for specific age groups performed by occupational health nurses. Collection of this information started in January 2000 and ended in the beginning of 2003.
4. Information in the personnel register of the City of Helsinki. The City has shared register data with the project starting from 1990. In the future, information will be requested annually for as long as the project is ongoing.
5. Register information from the register data holders. Information is requested mainly starting from 1990 until the end of the follow-up (until 2025, when the need for further follow-up will be re-assessed).
National Institute for Health and Welfare: Care Registers for Social Welfare and Health Care (HILMO), the Finnish Cancer Registry
Kela: information on prescribed and reimbursed prescription medicines purchases, information on rights for special reimbursement for medicines and information on daily sickness benefits and rehabilitation with diagnoses.
The Finnish Centre for Pensions: information on pensions started. In addition: Reasons for incapacity. Negative pension decisions and pre-decisions on employment pension and rehabilitation (type of pension, pension sector and pensions act, date of the adoption of the decision, reason for the rejection, diagnoses for disability pensions)
Statistics Finland: mortality and causes of death, education, socioeconomic status, occupational status and information on employment and income.
The time period during which the information is used
The register information is combined with the survey both retrospectively (time before answering the survey) and during the follow-ups (after answering the survey). Retrospective information is important because health and functional capacity is also explained by socioeconomical status, earlier state of health and sickness absence.
The information is combined with survey responses based on permissions requested separately from the register data holders for the period during which the information is recorded in the registers. The follow-up continues until 2025, after which the need for further follow-up is re-assessed. During the follow-up, updates to the register data are obtained from the register data holders once a year or once in two years.
At the moment, the above-mentioned information is available, and will be combined with the survey data based on informed consent, from the following time periods:
1. Personnel register of the City of Helsinki: 1990–2014
2. National Institute for Health and Welfare: Care Registers for Social Welfare and Health Care (HILMO) years 1990–2014, the Finnish Cancer Registry 1953–2014
3. Kela: years 1990–2014
4. The Finnish Centre for Pensions: years 1990–2014
5. Statistics Finland: years 1990–2014
HELSINKI HEALTH STUDY
Young employees' health study
In 2000 employees of the City of Helsinki aged 40 to 60 were invited to participate in a study concerning their health. This year we are also inviting all employees under the age of 40 who have full-time or part-time work contracts with the City, or who are on a leave of absence or leave of some other kind.
The aim of the study is to ascertain how the working environment or other living environment, and the manner of living affect coping at work, the ability to work, and well-being. By participating you will help produce important information that will promote personnel health and well-being. The Human Resources Director of the City of Helsinki as well as the university's ethical review board have approved the study plan. Management recommends participation in the study and you can take part in the study during working hours.
We hope that you will respond to the attached questionnaire within a week. Postage on the return envelope has been paid on your behalf. Alternatively you can respond to the questionnaire over the internet on a secure connection with your personal login details using the link that can be found at the top of this letter. All respondents will take part in a drawing for five Super Gift vouchers, 200 € each (www.gogift.com).
Participation in the study is voluntary. Each response is nevertheless very important in order to get a reliable picture about the health and well-being of personnel. The information that you give will be handled with full confidentiality. Information about individual persons will not be divulged to the City of Helsinki or to other outside entities. The information is available exclusively to the researchers and will only be used for scientific purposes. The results will be published at a group level so that no individual respondents can be identified.
The study will also use register information in accordance with the requirements and principles of data protection legislation (Finnish Centre for Pensions, Statistics Finland, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, and the City of Helsinki). The project's website (http://www.helsinki.fi/helsinki-health-study) has a more detailed description of the registries and information that are used in the study. Consent for the use of the information will be asked separately in the questionnaire. If you wish to withdraw your consent you may do so at any time without repercussions by contacting the study group (contact details are here below). Further information on data protection is available on the registry disclosure that can be requested by phone from the study group. You can also find it on the home page of the study: http://www.helsinki.fi/helsinki-health-study/rekisteriseloste.
For further information on participating in the study, you can ask research assistant Sauli Jäppinen (050 3119324) or inquire at the address firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact the undersigned about the study.
Many thanks for your participation!
With best regards
Professor, director of the study
Department of Public Health
PL 20, 00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: 050 415 1252
Academy Research Fellow, vice-director of the study
Department of Public Health
PL 20, 00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: 050 539 5059
The study uses register data following the requirements and principles of data protection laws (Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK), Statistics Finland (Tilastokeskus), Social Insurance Institution (Kela), National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), and the City of Helsinki (Helsingin kaupunki)). I consent combining the survey responses with the register data. I understand that participation is voluntary and that I can withdraw my consent at any time.