Information from the survey was stored electronically in the form of data items. In some cases, items were formed directly from individual survey questions while in others, items were derived from answers to several questions (e.g. Body Mass Index derived from measured height and weight). Some items were derived with reference to information from other organisations such as the National Health and Medical Research Council (e.g. in relation to guidelines on consumption of alcohol).
Datasets from the Australian Health Survey are hierarchical in nature. A hierarchical data file is an efficient means of storing and retrieving information which describes one to many, or many to many, relationships; e.g. a person may report multiple days on which alcohol was consumed and also multiple types of alcoholic beverages on each of these days.
Data about households and families are contained as individual characteristics on person records. While estimates are also available at the household level, estimates at the family level are not available from this survey. The data items and related output categories currently available for the NHS Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) and the NHS TableBuilder database are available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.
The following table shows the levels available in each microdata product and the information contained on those levels:
|Information contained on level |
|1. Household level||X||X||Geographic classifications, household size and structure, dwelling characteristics and household income details|
|2. Persons in household level (All persons)||X||X||Basic demographic and relationship details of all members of households, including selected persons|
|3. Person level (Selected person)||X||X||Demographic and socio-economic characteristics of survey respondents, and most of the health, health risks and related information they provided.|
|4. Alcohol Day level||X||X||Alcohol consumption on the three most recent days on which respondents reported consuming alcohol and the order of consumption.|
|5. Alcohol Type level||X||X||Order of consumption and the broad alcohol types and quantities for each type consumed on those days.|
|6. Actions level (Condition Group)||X||X||Actions taken for specific condition groups.|
|7. Condition level||X||X||Detailed information about health conditions as reported by respondents.|
|8. Medication level||X||X||Detailed information on medications used as reported by respondents.|
|9. Biomedical level||X||X||Pathology test information for markers of chronic disease such as blood sugar levels, cholesterol and kidney function, markers of nutritional status as well as markers of exposure to chemicals such as nicotine.|