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.
The structure of the NHS dataset is as follows:
- Household level, containing information about household size and structure, dwelling characteristics (including geographic classifications), and household income details;
- Persons in Household level, containing basic demographic and relationship information about all members of households, including those members selected in the survey;
- Person level, which is the main level, containing all demographic and socio-economic characteristics of survey respondents, and most of the health and related information they provided;
- Alcohol Day level, containing information on alcohol consumption on the three most recent days on which respondents reported consuming alcohol, and the order of consumption;
- Alcohol Type level, containing information on the order of consumption and the broad alcohol types and quantities for each type consumed on those days;
- Action level, which is the main level for actions taken for National Health Priority Areas health conditions and contains information about actions taken by respondents in relation to their health conditions;
- Condition level, containing detailed information about the health conditions reported by respondents; and
- Medications level, containing information about the types of medications and supplements used by respondents.
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 from the NHS are available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.
This page last updated 4 April 2013