Hunt K & Black N (1984) The social class distribution of surgical patients: An assessment of Oxford record linkage study data. Journal of Public Health, 6 (4), pp. 291-298. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.pubmed.a043737
Use of social class data in the Oxford Record Linkage Study (ORLS) has been limited by concern both for its repeatability and any bias that might arise from some records not containing the necessary information. The availability of three studies of surgical operations in which information on social class was obtained by trained interviewers provided an opportunity to investigate both these aspects of ORLS data. Comparison of ORLS data with those from the three research studies revealed a surprisingly low level of repeatability, with a tendency for the ORLS to code a person's social class ‘inwards’ to social class III. However, lack of information for some patients did not appear to introduce any systematic bias. The implications of these findings for the interpretation of social class distributions derived from the ORLS are discussed. Despite the low level of repeatability, these findings suggest that the social class data available from the ORLS is of greater value than has been recognized previously. © 1984 John Wright & Sons Ltd.
Journal of Public Health: Volume 6, Issue 4