Health Survey (National)

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


      The 2001 National Health Survey is the first in a new series of regular trienniel health surveys. Surveys in this series collect information about the health status of Australians, their use of health services and facilities, and health related aspects of their lifestyle.

      The aims of the survey are to:
      . obtain national benchmark information on a range of health issue,
      . enable trends in health to be monitored over time, and
      . provide information on health indicators for national health priority areas and for important subgroups of the population.

      The survey covered urban and rural areas across all States and Territories, and included residents of private dwellings only. Visitors to private dwellings were excluded, as were persons in institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes and special dwellings such as hotels and boarding houses.

      The following persons living in Australia but not usually considered part of the resident population were excluded from the scope of the survey:
      • diplomatic personnel of overseas governments and non-Australian members of their households,
      • non-Australian service personnel stationed in Australia and their dependents, and
      • overseas visitors whose usual place of residence was outside Australia.

      Non-Australians (other than those above) working in Australia, or in Australia as students or settlers, and their dependents were included in the scope of the survey if they had lived, or intended to live in Australia for a period of 12 months or more.


    Conceptual framework

      Not applicable

    Main outputs
      The content of the surveys in the NHS series has differed between surveys, around a common (or core) data set. The 2001 survey covered 5 main areas:
      • Indicators of health status (self-assessed health status, health transition, quality of life scale, K10 scale to indicate psychological distress, long-term conditions focussing in particular on asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular and cancer), and injuries
      • Health-related actions taken (visits to hospitals and day clinics, consultations with doctors, dentists and other health professionals, use of medications (for national health priority area conditions only), days away from work and other days of reduced activity).
      • Health risk factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, exercise, body mass, sun protection, breastfeeding, immunisation),
      • Supplementary women's health items (breast and cervical cancer screening practices, contraceptive/protective behaviours, Hormone Replacement Therapy, breastfeeding history), and
      • Demographic and socio-economic characteristics (standard range of items, plus Indigenous status, private health insurance and housing).
      Person level estimates will be produced describing the prevalence of various health characteristics in 2001, and enabling comparison with previous NHS for monitoring changes over time.
      Standard outputs will be person level estimates; higher level estimates (ie family, household, income unit) available from previous NHSs will not be available from 2001, due to the sampling methodology used.

      ABS standard classifications were used for items describing standard demographic, socio-economic, education, labour force, housing, etc characteristics. Major classifications used include:
      . The Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC),
      . The Australian Standard Classification of Occupation (ASCO),
      . The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZIC)
      The main NHS specific classifications used were:
      The classification of medical conditions. Three ABS developed classifications of conditions will be available for use in data output:
      . a classification based on the 9th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, similar to that used in the 1995 National Health Survey.
      . a classification based on the 10th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, and
      . a classification based on the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC)

      The classification of medication types, based on the WHO Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification (ATCC), modified for use in this survey.

      Details of the classifications will be contained in 2001 National Health Survey: Users Guide (ABS Cat No 4364.0) which is scheduled to be released in September 2002.

    Other concepts (summary)

      1. National & State/Territory\1.01 Australia
      1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.01 New South Wales
      1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.02 Victoria
      1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.03 Queensland
      1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.04 South Australia
      1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.05 Western Australia
      1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.06 Tasmania
      1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.08 Australian Capital Territory
      2. Parts of State\2.01 Statistical Division (SD)
      2. Parts of State\2.02 Statistical Subdivision (SSD)
      2. Parts of State\2.11 Section of State (SOS)
      2. Parts of State\2.12 Other Geographic Areas\2.12.03 Part of State Metropolitan
      2. Parts of State\2.12 Other Geographic Areas\2.12.04 Part of State-Extra Metropolitan
      2. Parts of State\2.12 Other Geographic Areas\2.12.13 Other

      Comments and/or Other Regions

        Sample drawn from urban and rural areas in all States and Territories; sparsely settled areas were excluded.

        Data for individual Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) cannot be released, but if clients wish to specify their own aggregations of SLAs limited data can be provided on that basis. Data for other regions (for example according to categories of the Accessibility and Remoteness Index for Australia, or similar) may also be available.

      3 Yearly

      Frequency comments
      Previous National Health Surveys were conducted 5 yearly; surveys in the current series, commencing with the 2001 survey, will be conducted 3 yearly.


        National Health Surveys were conducted in 1989-90 and 1995, and prior to that as Australian Health Surveys in 1977-78 and 1983. The broad topics covered in the 2001 survey are similar to those covered in the 1995 survey; however some topics and items within topics do differ.


      Data availability comments
      Results from the survey will be available from September 2002.

      01/06/2001 09:33 AM