4727.0.55.002 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2012-13  
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Contents >> Data quality and interpretation of results >> Interpretation of results

INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS

As noted in the Data Quality section, a range of factors have impacted on the quality of the data collected. The ABS has sought to minimise the effects of these factors through various means in the development and conduct of this survey, however, only sampling error can be quantified to allow users of the data to adjust for possible errors when using/interpreting the data. Information is not available from the survey to enable the effects of other issues affecting the data to be quantified. The relative importance of these factors will differ between topics, between items within topics, and by characteristics of respondents.

This chapter provides information on:

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR INTERPRETATION OF DATA

The table below highlights general factors to be considered in interpreting the data. Comments have been included in individual topic descriptions in this publication to alert users of the data to the more significant issues likely to affect results for that topic, or items within it. These notes reflect ABS experience of past health and other surveys, feedback from users of data from those surveys, and ABS and other research on survey methods and response patterns, as well as information from survey testing and validation. However, they are indicative only, and do not necessarily reflect all factors impacting results, nor the relative importance of those factors.


FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN INTERPRETING THE DATA

FACTORDESCRIPTION

Age standardisation Age standardisation is a technique used to enhance the comparability of rates between populations with different age structures. As many population characteristics are age-related, (for example, long-term health conditions and employment patterns), adjustments are made to account for the confounding effects of the different age structures on the prevalence of these characteristics. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has a larger proportion of young people and a smaller proportion of older people than the non-Indigenous population.

As age is strongly related to many health measures, as well as labour force status, estimates of prevalence which do not take account of age may be misleading. The age standardised estimates of prevalence are those rates that 'would have occurred' should the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations both have the standard age composition. For this reason, where appropriate, estimates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people have both been age standardised to reflect the age structure of the same population — the total estimated resident population of Australia as at 30 June 2001.
Classifications and categoriesThe classifications and categories used in the survey provide an indication of the level of detail available in survey output. However, the ability of respondents to provide the data may limit the amount of detail that can be output. Where respondents may have used non-medical terminology, symptoms rather than conditions, or generic rather than specific terminology, conditions may only be able to be output in general terms (e.g. 'heart condition nfd' rather than 'Angina' or 'Atrial fibrillation'). Classifications used in the survey can be found in Appendix 3: ABS Standard Classifications. Survey specific classifications can be found in Appendix 2: Classification of Health Conditions and Appendix 4: Classification of BMI for children.
Collection periodThe 2012-13 NATSIHS was enumerated from May 2012 to March 2013, and the NATSINPAS was enumerated from August 2012 to July 2013 in both non-remote and remote areas. When considering survey results over time or comparing them with data from another source, care must be taken to ensure that any differences between the collection periods take into consideration the possible effect of those differences on the data, for example, seasonal differences, social changes and effects of holidays.
Concepts and definitionsSome survey topics, such as alcohol consumption in the NATSIHS, have some known data quality issues. While this means the data should be interpreted with care, the information is still considered valuable for certain uses. Information regarding any known data quality issues are contained in the individual topic pages in this Users' Guide.
Personal interview and self-assessment nature of the surveyThe NATSIHS and NATSINPAS were designed using personal or proxy (e.g. parent or guardian answering for a child, or a carer answering for a disabled person) interviews to obtain data on respondents’ own perceptions of their state of health, their use of health services and aspects of their lifestyle. The information obtained is therefore not necessarily based on any professional opinion (e.g. from a doctor, nurse, dentist, etc.) or on information available from records kept by respondents.
The survey data are mainly self-reported and may differ from data sources that have different collection methodologies (e.g. administrative data), however, the AATSIHS is able to provide dimensions of the data (e.g. population group, related health characteristics, use or non-use of other health services) and cross-classifications (e.g. self-assessed health by alcohol risk level) which are not available from administrative sources.
Reference periodsAll results should be considered within the context of the time references that apply to the various topics. Different reference periods were used for specific topics (e.g. 'in the last week' for alcohol consumption and adult physical activity, 'ever' and 'in the last 12 months' for substance use). Although various reference periods are used throughout the survey for different topics (e.g. current, usual, last week, last 2 weeks, last 4 weeks) the survey essentially provides a 'point in time' picture of the health of the population and of population sub-groups. That is, the survey provides information about the prevalence of characteristics, not the incidence of those characteristics or of changes in characteristics (except in terms of differences between surveys). The results are essentially an average over that period, that is, representative of a typical week, fortnight, etc. in that period.
Although it can be expected that a larger section of the population would have reported taking a certain action if a longer reference period had been used, the increase is not proportionate to the increase in time. This should be taken into consideration when comparing results from this survey to data from other sources where the data relates to different reference periods.
Wording of questionsTo enable accurate interpretation of survey results it is essential to bear in mind the precise wording of questions used to collect individual items of data, particularly in those cases where the question involved ‘running prompts’ (where the interviewer reads from a list until the respondent makes a choice), or where a prompt card was used.

To aid comparability with other ABS data sources, where possible, questions from existing surveys were used in the 2012-13 AATSIHS. However, due to the number of topics included in this survey, it was not always possible to adopt the full question modules used in other surveys. In addition, some modules were omitted or wording modified in the remote survey questionnaire because they were not relevant or not able to be effectively administered for the AATSIHS within remote areas. Where possible, the 2012-13 AATSIHS used standard ABS 'shortened' question modules, designed to maximise comparability with the full question modules.

For further information on the questions used in the surveys, refer to the survey questionnaires located on the Downloads page of this product.



The surveys aim to provide statistics which represent the population or component groups of the population. It does not aim to provide data for analysis at the individual level. While errors of the types noted above may occur in individual respondent records, they will have little impact on survey estimates unless they are repeated commonly throughout the respondent population.

Factors specific to the biomedical results of the 2012-13 NATSIHMS are discussed within the Biomedical Measures chapter of this Users' Guide.

COMPARABILITY BETWEEN THE 2011-12 AUSTRALIAN HEALTH SURVEY AND THE 2012-13 AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER HEALTH SURVEY

Overview

The 2011-12 Australian Health Survey (AHS) and the 2012-13 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS) are the largest and most comprehensive health surveys ever conducted in Australia. They combine the existing ABS National Health Survey and the National Aboriginal Torres Straight Islander Health Survey together with two new elements - a National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey and a National Health Measures Survey.

The AHS consists of:

  • the National Health Survey (NHS)
  • the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS)
  • the combined NHS and NNPAS sample known as the Core Australian Health Survey (AHS)

The AATSIHS consists of:
  • the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS)
  • the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NATSINPAS)
  • combined NATSIHS and NATSINPAS sample known as the Core Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS).

Additionally all NHS and NNPAS respondents aged 5 years and over were invited to participate in the voluntary National Health Measures Survey (NHMS) and all NATSIHS and NATSINPAS respondents aged 18 years and over were invited to participate the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey (NATSIHMS).

Use of the surveys associated with the AHS and AATSIHS allows analysis of content that was collected as part of the individual surveys, many of which are common between the surveys and some which is unique to the particular survey. 'Closing the Gap' analysis can be completed by comparing non-Indigenous data from the general population to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Please note surveys have different sample sizes and have been weighted separately to population benchmarks only, survey estimates of common items between the files may vary slightly.

Collection methodology of NATSIHS, NHS, NATSINPAS and NNPAS

The table below outlines the similarities and differences in the collection methodology of NATSIHS, NHS, NATSINPAS and NNPAS.

Survey characteristic

2012-13 NATSIHS 2011-12 NHS2012-13 NATSINPAS 2011-12 NNPAS

Collection method Personal interview with adult respondents; proxy interview for children less than 15 years SameSameSame
Personal interview with children aged 15-17 years with parental consent; otherwise interview by proxy SameSameSame
Questionnaires Single CAI instrument, incorporating household, adult and child components; except for non-remote substance use module which has a separate CASI instrument Single CAI instrument, incorporating household, adult and child componentsSingle CAI instrument, incorporating household, adult and child components; with a second CAI instrument for telephone interviewing Same as NATSINPAS
Sample coverage Private dwellings only SameSameSame
Urban and rural areas (including discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities) Same, except very remote and discrete communities excludedSame as NATSIHSSame as NHS
All States and TerritoriesSame, with additional sample in NTSameSame as NHS
Sample design/size Non-remote households had up to two adults and two children aged 0-17 years per dwelling, while remote households had up to one adult and one child aged 0-17 years per dwelling One adult and one child aged 0-17 years per dwellingOne adult and one child aged 2-17 years per dwelling Same as NATSINPAS
Fully responding H'holds = 5371Fully responding H'holds = 15565Fully responding H'holds = 2900Fully responding H'holds = 9519
Final sample = 3835 children Final sample = 4951 children Final sample = 1434 children Final sample = 2718 children
5482 adults, 9317 persons 15475 adults, 20426 persons 2675 adults, 4109 persons 9435 adults, 12153 persons
Enumeration period April 2012 to February 2013March 2011 to March 2012 July 2012 to June 2013May 2011 to June 2012
Collection methodology CAI questionnaire SameCAI questionnaire, pedometer daily activity sheet used for recording stepsSame as NATSINPAS
Automated coding with inbuilt trigram coders, supported by manual and CAC systems for some modules Same SameSame
Main output units Person Person Person Person


Using topic pages to reference appropriate source data

The AHS is a rich source of health information for both the general population and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. It is important to consider the inclusion and exclusions of each survey before choosing a source to reference. There is a large amount of content that is comparable for the 2011-12 NHS and NNPAS and the 2012-13 NATSIHS and NATSINPAS. However, there are a number of issues affecting comparability of data between the surveys. These will be outlined in topic pages within this Users' Guide.

When selecting variables for analysis, please refer to the topic pages of this Users' Guide and the AATSIHS Data Item List (located on the Downloads page) and the topic pages and Data Item List presented in the Australian Health Survey Users' Guide (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001) to understand which data items are unique, only available on a particular survey, and data items that are consistent across two or more datasets. The topic page will also note any caveats under the interpretation section of the page.

Additionally the topic page will state whether the data was collected in both NATSIHS and NATSINPAS and primarily list comparability content that was collected in both the NHS and NNPAS. In addition some data may be only comparable between:

  • NATSIHS and NHS
  • NATSINPAS and NNPAS
  • NATSIHS and NATSINPAS
  • NHS and NNPAS.
For these kinds of detailed comparisons, an assessment of comparability should be made using the topic pages and Data item lists in this AATSIHS Users' Guide and the Australian Health Survey Users' Guide (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001).

For example, under the 'population' header on the Alcohol topic page it identifies that information was collected for persons aged 15 years and over in the NATSIHS. Note there is no mention of NATSINPAS on this topic page. Therefore only the NATSIHS dataset can be used for alcohol. However comparisons can also be made with the NHS (note in the Alcohol topic page in the AHS Users' Guide there is no reference to NNPAS) as alcohol consumption questions in the 2012-13 NATSIHS are conceptually the same, and therefore are considered comparable.

Using surveys in isolation

Results from the NATSIHS and NATSINPAS samples are available separately (NATSINPAS from the latter half of 2014) or as part of a combined sample (the Core). Use of the separate files allows analysis of content that was collected as part of the individual surveys, some of which are common between the surveys and some which is unique to the particular survey. This is consistent with the NHS and NNPAS, where some content is only in the individual surveys and others are part of a combined sample.

Common content between NATSIHS, NHS, NATSINPAS and NNPAS

Data from the Core (2012-13 AATSIHS) is based on the combined NATSIHS and NATSINPAS sample for common items. The Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey: Updated Results, 2012-13 (4727.0.55.006) released on the 6 June 2014 is from the Core. With a larger sample size (approximately 12 900 people), the Core provides more accurate estimates and allows for analysis at a finer level of disaggregation.

As the two surveys and the combined sample have different sample sizes and have been weighted separately to population benchmarks only, survey estimates of common items between the three files may vary slightly. For example, the estimates for current daily smoker may vary between the NATSIHS, NATSINPAS and the combined Core sample. When using data from these files, it is important to understand and reference the source of the data. This is the same for the NHS and NNPAS.

The following tables summarises the common modules between the NATSIHS and NATSINPAS surveys and the AATSIHS Core and AHS Core. Where content is common, these items are available on the combined sample file. For estimates required from the common items, it is suggested that the Core sample be used for this purpose due to the higher accuracy of the data.

Common survey modules

Topics coveredCommon items available from 2012-13 NATSIHS and NATSINPAS Main differences between NATSIHS and NATSINPAS

General demographicsSex; age; social marital status; Indigenous status; main language spoken at home; proficiency in spoken English; family type; household size, composition, type; geographic locationNo differences
EducationHighest year of school completed; main field and level of highest and current non-school qualification; highest level of educational attainment; whether currently studying full or part time; type of educational institution attendingNo differences
Labour forceLabour force status; whether on CDEP; whether registered for CDEP after 30 Sept 2009; status in employment; occupation, industry and industry sector of main job; hours worked; duration of unemployment; shift workNo differences
IncomeHousehold income gross weekly, equivalised household incomeNATSIHS also collected personal income
Health conditionsSelf-assessed health; Diagnosis status of: Heart and circulatory conditions, Diabetes/high sugar levels, Kidney diseaseNATSIHS collected some condition specific questions as well as collecting more extensive listing of conditions
Body mass/Physical measurementsBody mass index and measured height, weight, hip and waist circumference measurements; Self-perceived weight; satisfaction with current weightNo differences
Blood pressureSystolic, diastolic measurements, and blood pressure ranges (for 18 years and over)No differences
Dietary behavioursUsual daily intake of vegetables & fruit; use of salt; type of dietNATSIHS collected type of milk usually consumed. Use of salt has different response categories between the two surveys.
SmokingSmoker statusNATSIHS collected household smoking information, age started/stopped smoking regularly; whether quit smoking
Adult Exercise/Physical Activity (non-remote)Type, frequency and duration of exercise/physical activity in last week; exercise level; whether met guidelines; sufficient activity measure; whether walked for transport, fitnessSome question wording (e.g. exercise versus physical activity) and question ordering differences between surveys for the physical activity component of the module. NATSINPAS collected vigorous gardening; strength and toning; type of activity. NATSIHS collected number of days exercised. Sedentary data is not comparable between surveys.
Child Physical Activity (non-remote)Type, frequency and duration of physical activity in previous 3 days; whether met guidelines, type and duration of screen-based activity; type of active transportNATSINPAS collected whether activities were organised or not; household rules; and data for 2-4 year olds
Physical Activity (remote)Type and broad duration of physical activity did yesterday, type of sedentary activity did yesterdayNo differences



Common survey modules

Topics coveredCommon items available from 2011-12 AHS Core and 2012-13 AATSIHS CoreMain differences between 2011-12 AHS Core and 2012-13 AATSIHS Core

General demographicsSex; age; social marital status; Indigenous status; main language spoken at home; proficiency in spoken English; family type; household size, composition, type; geographic locationNo differences, although social marital status was determined differently
EducationHighest year of school completed; main field and level of highest and current non-school qualification; highest level of educational attainment; whether currently studying full or part time; type of educational institution attendingSome items listed are only available in NHS not AHS. However all are available on AATSIHS.
Labour forceLabour force status; status in employment; occupation, industry and industry sector of main job; hours worked; duration of unemployment; shift workItems pertaining to CDEP are collected in Remote AATSIHS
IncomeHousehold income gross weekly, equivalised household incomeNATSIHS and NHS also collected personal income
Health conditionsSelf-assessed health; Diagnosis status of: Heart and circulatory conditions, Diabetes/high sugar levels, Kidney diseaseAATSIHS high sugar levels is classified as long-term if current. Additional question in NATSIHS for kidney disease. Full conditions are comparable between NATSIHS and NHS, with the exception of Mental Health Conditions.
Body mass/Physical measurementsBody mass index and measured height, weight and waist circumference measurements; Self-perceived weight; satisfaction with current weightHip measurement was also collected in AATSIHS
Blood pressureSystolic, diastolic measurements, and blood pressure ranges (for 18 years and over)No differences
Dietary behaviours/Food SecurityUsual daily intake of vegetables & fruit; whether salt is iodisedType of diet is collected in NNPAS and AATSIHS. Use of salt is comparable between AHS and NATSINPAS. Food security is comparable between AATSIHS and NATSINPAS. 24-hour Dietary recall is comparable between NNPAS and NATSINPAS.
SmokingSmoker statusHousehold smoking and additional smoking questions were asked in NATSIHS and NHS
Adult Exercise/Physical Activity (non-remote)Type, frequency and duration of exercise/physical activity in last week; exercise level; whether met guidelines; sufficient activity measure; whether walked for transport, fitnessOther than the common items listed in the core files the main relationship of comparability are between NHS and NATSIHS or NNPAS and NATSINPAS.
Child Physical Activity (non-remote)Type, frequency and duration of physical activity in previous 3 days; whether met guidelines, type and duration of screen-based activity; type of active transportComparability between AATSIHS and NNPAS for 5-17 years. NNPAS collected 7 days of data compared to 3 days in AATSIHS. Household rules, screen-based rules, and data on 2-4 year olds are comparable between NATSINPAS and NNPAS, with just the 7 day and 3 day difference in collection of data for 2-4 year olds.

COMPARABILITY WITH PREVIOUS ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER SURVEYS

Between 2006 and 2011 the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population increased by 30%, or 153,000 people. When comparing numbers from the 2012-13 AATSIHS with previous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surveys, users should be aware of the large increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and consider the impact this may have when interpreting change over time.

Below are some summary comparisons between the 2012-13 NATSIHS and 2004-05 NATSIHS. For further information on comparability, and comparability with the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS), refer to the topic pages within this Users' Guide.

Comparability between 2012-13 NATSIHS and 2004-05 NATSIHS

Understanding the comparability of data from the 2012-13 NATSIHS with data from the previous NATSIHS cycle is important for the use of those data and interpretation of apparent changes in health characteristics over time. While the 2012-13 NATSIHS is deliberately similar in many ways to the 2004-05 NATSIHS, there are important differences in sample design and coverage, survey methodology, content, definitions and classifications between the surveys. A key difference in 2012-13, however, was the standardisation of Computer-Assisted Interviewing for all questions administered to respondents in remote and non-remote areas. These differences will affect the degree to which data are directly comparable between the surveys, and hence the interpretation of apparent changes in health characteristics over the 2004-05 to 2012-13 period.

Throughout the topic descriptions and in other parts of this publication, comments have been made about the changes between surveys and their expected impact on the comparability of data. These are general comments based on results of testing, ABS experience in survey development, and preliminary examination of data from the 2012-13 survey. They should not, therefore, be regarded as definitive statements on comparability, and they may omit the types of findings which might result from a detailed analysis of the effects of all changes made.

The following table summarises key differences in the general survey characteristics of the 2004-05 to 2012-13 surveys:

Survey characteristic

2012-13 NATSIHS 2004-05 NATSIHS

Collection method Personal interview with adult respondents; proxy interview for children less than 15 years Same
Personal interview with children aged 15-17 years with parental consent; otherwise interview by proxy Same
Questionnaires Single CAI instrument, incorporating household, adult and child components; except for non-remote substance use module which has a separate CASI instrument Single CAI instrument, incorporating household, adult and child components; except for community areas which pen and paper interviewing (PAPI) was still employed and non-community substance use module and women's health module which also used PAPI
Sample coverage Private dwellings only Same
Urban and rural areas Same
All States and TerritoriesSame
Sample design/size Non-remote had up to two children aged 0-17 years, two adult per dwelling Non-remote had up to one child aged 0-17 years, one adult per dwelling
Remote had up to one children aged 0-17 years, one adult per dwelling Same
Fully responding H'holds = 5371Fully responding H'holds = 5234
Final sample = 3835 children Final sample = 4682 children
5482 adults, 9317 persons 5757 adults, 10439 persons
Enumeration period April 2012 to February 2013August 2004 to July 2005
Collection methodology CAI questionnaire CAI questionnaire in non-community/PAPI questionnaire in community
Automated coding with inbuilt trigram coders, supported by manual and computer assisted coding systems for some modules Automated coding, supported by manual and computer assisted coding systems
Main output units Person Person


Sample design/size

The overall sample of households was about 2.6% higher in 2012-13 than in 2004-05, however, the proportion of people in each household enumerated was higher in 2004-05. This resulted in the total sample of persons in the 2012-13 survey being below that of 2004-05.

Furthermore, the overall coverage rate of the in-scope Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was approximately 38% in the 2012-13 NATSIHS and 58% in the 2004-05 NATSIHS. The high undercoverage rate in 2012-13 may be due to a number of factors, including:
  • frame exclusion, where areas with a small number of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons are not approached for enumeration
  • non-response, where people cannot or will not cooperate, or cannot be contacted
  • non-identification, where Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people do not self-identify or are not identified by the household spokesperson
  • issues arising in the field, such as occupational health and safety issues.

Differences in the reliability of estimates between surveys should be considered in interpreting apparent changes between the surveys. It is recommended that apparent changes are significance tested (see 'Testing for statistically significant differences' in the Data Quality section of this chapter).

Through the weighting process, weighted survey estimates for state by remoteness by sex by broad age group will be the same or very similar to the benchmark populations. However, because the characteristics of the sample are not identical to those of the benchmark population, some records will receive higher or lower weights than others. As this will vary between surveys, it is a factor to consider in comparing 2012-13 with 2004-05 data, but the impact on comparability is expected to be small. Sample and population figures for the two surveys appear in the following table:



2012-13 NATSIHS(a) 2004-05 NATSIHS(b)

% of adults in sample
% of adults in population
% of adults in sample
% of adults in population

Males
41.7
48.9
42.7
46.6
Females
58.3
51.1
57.3
53.4
18-24
16.9
23.1
17.7
22.0
25-34
22.7
23.7
25.2
27.0
35-44
22.8
21.3
25.7
22.9
45-54
18.5
16.4
16.3
15.3
55 and over
19.1
15.5
15.1
12.8
Persons
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) Benchmark population as at 30 June 2011.
(b) Benchmark population as at 31 December 2004.

Comparability of 2012-13 NATSIHS data with 2004-05 NATSIHS

For the majority of the survey, data is comparable between 2004-05 and 2012-13 surveys due to common questions and methodologies used.

However, there are a number of issues affecting comparability of data between the 2004-05 and 2012-13 surveys. Some examples of these include:
  • Some modules contain additional questions and/or have had questions removed. General details on this is available at the end of each topic page of this Users' Guide.
  • The 2012-13 remote interviews were completed by CAI, while in 2004-05 remote areas were enumerated by pen and paper instruments (PAPI).
  • The 2012-13 survey made use of trigram coders where a question contained a list of possible answers plus an 'other' category. Where the interviewer could not find a response in the trigram they were then sequenced to a text field for later coding. In the 2004-05 survey, the 'other' category took the interviewers directly to a text field and these text responses were then later coded in the office.
  • In 2012-13, specific Disability, Male contraception, and Blood Pressure modules were included in the survey for the first time. Therefore, these data are not directly comparable to 2004-05 given the change in collection methodology.
  • In 2012-13, substance use was asked to both non-remote and remote areas, while in 2004-05 only non-remote respondents received the substance use questions.
  • The reported prevalence of illness is complex and dynamic, and is a function of respondent knowledge and attitudes, which in turn may be affected by the availability of health services and health information, public education and awareness, accessibility to self-help, etc. For example, a public education program has been running in Australia over a number of years aimed to raise public awareness and public acceptance of mental health disorders. Consequently, respondents may be more willing to talk about or report feelings of anxiety or depression than in previous years.

These issues and others are discussed in detail in the relevant topic pages of this Users' Guide.

The following tables summarise the main differences in content between the 2012-13 and 2004-05 surveys:


SURVEY CONTENT POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS

Topics covered 2004-05 NATSIHS 2012-13 NATSIHS Main items available from 2012-13Comments on main differences between 2004-05 and 2012-13

General demographics X   X   Sex; age; social marital status; Indigenous status; main language spoken at home; proficiency in English; family composition; geographic location.   Same content in 2012-13 as in 2004-05. Note change in geography from 2001 to 2011.
Education X   X   Highest year of school completed; whether has non-school qualification; whether currently studying full or part time, level of current qualification; main field of current study; type of institution currently attendingSame content in 2012-13 as in 2004-05. New items: main field and level of current study
Labour force X   X   Labour force status; status in employment; occupation, industry and industry sector of main job; hours worked; duration of unemployment; shift work; CDEP employment (remote only)Same content in 2012-13 as in 2004-05. CDEP only collected in remote areas in 2012-13. New item: Additional CDEP questions
Cultural identificationX   X   Identification; recognition of homelands or traditional country; acceptance as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (non-remote only); cultural knowledge; removal from natural familySimilar content in 2012-13 as in 2004-05. New items: acceptance as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (non-remote only) and cultural knowledge


SURVEY CONTENT HEALTH CONDITIONS

Topics covered 2004-05 NATSIHS 2012-13 NATSIHS Main items available from 2012-13Comments on main differences between 2004-05 and 2012-13

ArthritisX   X   Type of arthritis; age first told arthritis; whether take medicationSimilar content in 2012-13 to 2004-05. 2012-13 survey did not ask for specific medication and actions for Arthritis
Asthma X   X   Whether woken by asthma; whether asthma worse or out of control; whether attended hospital; whether has written asthma action plan; whether take medicationSimilar content in 2012-13 to 2004-05. 2012-13 survey did not ask for specific medication and actions for Asthma
Cancer X   X   Cancer status; type of cancer; age first diagnosed with breast cancer; tests for cancer ever hadSimilar content in 2012-13 to 2004-05
Cardiovascular conditions X   X   Types of condition; blood pressure taken and by whom; cholesterol/blood pressure checks in last 12 months and 5 years; whether aspirin taken; whether take medicationSimilar content in 2012-13 to 2004-05. 2012-13 survey did not ask for specific medication
Diabetes/high sugar levels X   X   Types of diabetes; type of other actions taken to manage condition; whether screened for diabetes in the last 3 years; age first told; whether takes insulin; age first had insulin; whether take medicationsSimilar content in 2012-13 to 2004-05. 2012-13 survey did not ask for number of medications and interference in usual activities. New item: whether screened for diabetes. Note differences in High Sugar Levels in 2012-13 as well as approach taken in remote 2004-05.
Disability X   Disability status; type of disability; main type of disability.   Not collected in 2004-05
Kidney diseaseX   X   Kidney disease status; use of dialysis; tested for kidney disease in last 3 yearsSame content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. New items: tested for kidney disease
Mental well-being X   X   Psychological distress (K5); visits to health professionalsSimilar content in 2011-12 as 2004-05. New item: visits to health professionals
OsteoporosisX   Whether have osteoporosis or osteopenia; age first told; whether take medication; bone density checkedSimilar content in 2012-13 to 2004-05. 2012-13 survey did not ask for specific medication and actions for Osteoporosis/Osteopenia
Self assessed health X   X   Self-assessed health   Same content in 2012-13 as 2004-05
Sight and hearingX   X   Type of sight problem; type of sight problem requiring glasses; type of diabetes-related sight problems; time since last visited optometrist/eye specialist; whether has long-term ear/hearing problemSame content in 2012-13 as 2004-05


SURVEY CONTENT HEALTH RISK BEHAVIOURS

Topics covered 2004-05 NATSIHS 2012-13 NATSIHS Main items available from 2012-13Comments on main differences between 2004-05 and 2012-13

Alcohol consumption X   X   Period since last drank; binge consumption in last 2 weeks; days consumed alcohol in last week; quantity of alcohol by type of drink consumed in last week (max 3 days); alcohol risk level; graduated frequency; how consumption changed since this time last yearSimilar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. 2012-13 survey asked for binge data for highest consumption day in the last 2 weeks
Blood pressureXSystolic blood pressure; Diastolic blood pressureNot collected in 2004-05
Body mass X   X   Body mass index and measured height, weight, waist and hip circumference measurementsSimilar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. 2012-13 survey did not have self-reported measurements or hip measurements
Dietary habits X   X   Type of milk usually consumed; usual daily intake of vegetables & fruit; use of salt and whether it is iodisedSimilar content to 2012-13 as 2004-05, with new questions for salt use
Physical activity X   X   Type, frequency and duration of exercise in last week; exercise level; whether walked for transport; number of times walked, did moderate/vigorous exercises and total duration for each; time spent sitting at work and home on a usual work/week day Similar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05, except respondents are only asked about exercise in the last week rather than also in the last 2 weeks.  
Smoking X   X   Smoker status; number of smokers in household, age started/stopped smoking regularlySimilar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. 2012-13 survey included chewing tobacco
Substance useX
(non-remote only)
XEver used substances; Used substances in last 12 monthsSimilar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. Change from paper form to CASI interview for non-remote.
Family stressorsXXFamily stressors in the last 12 monthsSimilar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. 2012-13 survey gave more stressors to choose from
ContraceptionX
(females only)
XWhether ever used contraceptive pill (females); type of contraception currently used (females); whether ever used condom (males); whether currently use condoms (males)Similar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. New item: whether ever used and currently use condoms (males)


SURVEY CONTENT HEALTH RELATED ACTIONS

Topics covered 2004-05 NATSIHS 2012-13 NATSIHS Main items available from 2012-13Comments on main differences between 2004-05 and 2012-13

Hospital visitsX   X   Whether admitted to hospital; visited an outpatients clinic, emergency/casualty, or day clinic; reason didn't go to hospitalSimilar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. 2012-13 survey included 'Trust in hospital' as reason not to go
Doctor consultationsXXTime since last consulted doctor, waiting time for urgent care; treatment by doctor; reason didn't go to doctor; reason didn't get prescription filled (non-remote only)Similar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. 2012-13 survey included 'Trust in doctor' as reason not to go. New item: reason didn't get prescription filled (non-remote only)
Dental consultationsX   X   Time since last consulted dentist, waiting time for non-urgent dentistry; reason didn't go to dentistSimilar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. 2012-13 survey included 'Trust in dentist' as reason not to go
Use of other health services X   X   Type of other health professional consulted; reason didn't go to other health professionalSimilar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05. 2012-13 survey included 'Trust in other health professional' as reason not to go
Time away X   X   Whether had days away from work/school/study for own illness or as a carer; number of days away; other days of reduced activitiesSimilar content in 2012-13 as 2004-05



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