4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/06/2013   
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Contents >> Health conditions >> Self-assessed health



This is a single question about how respondents rated their overall health.


Information was obtained for all persons aged 15 years and over in the NHS and NNPAS.


Self-assessed health status was collected in both the NHS and the NNPAS surveys. Information on self-assessed health status was first published in the First Results publication based on the NHS only sample of approximately 16,400 people aged 15 years and over. Updated results on self-assessed health status for the larger combined, core sample of approximately 26,400 people aged 15 years and over was published in the Updated Results publication. For comparison of self-assessed health status with NHS only items, the NHS file should be used and similarly for comparison with NNPAS only items, the NNPAS file should be used. However, for the most accurate information for self-assessed health status alone or comparison with other items collected in the core, the core file should be used. For more information on the structure of the AHS, see the Structure of the Australian Health Survey page of this Users' Guide.

After collecting demographic, education and employment information and before any specific health questions were asked, respondents were asked whether in general they felt their health was:

  • excellent
  • very good
  • good
  • fair
  • poor.

Data items

The data items and related output categories for this topic are available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.


Points to be considered in interpreting this topic include.
  • This is a subjective question. Perceptions may be influenced by any number of factors which may be unrelated to health, or which may reflect momentary or short-term feelings or circumstances (rather than usual feelings or circumstances). Responses may have been influenced by factors involved in the interview itself such as the presence of another family member. However self-assessed health has been shown to be a good indication of a person's health at the population level.
  • Information recorded for persons aged 15-17 may have been reported by an adult (usually a parent) within the household. A small number of adults may not have been able to answer for themselves due to illness or disability. In these cases, a person responsible for them was interviewed on their behalf, provided the interviewer was assured that this was acceptable to the subject person. Therefore, data for these groups may not be conceptually 'self-assessed' as responses may have been different if the children/adult had responded for themselves. Proxy use items are available on the data files for additional analysis if required.

Comparability with 2007-08

Self-assessed health status is considered to be directly comparable between 2007-08 and 2011-12.

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