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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This topic refers to persons ever told by a doctor or nurse that they have asthma, and whose asthma is current. Whether a person's asthma is current or not was determined by whether they had had any symptoms of asthma or taken treatment for asthma in the last 12 months.


Information was obtained for all persons in the NHS.


All respondents were asked whether they had ever been told by a doctor or nurse that they have asthma, and if so, whether symptoms were present, whether they had taken treatment in the last 12 months, and whether they still get asthma. Respondents who identified they still get asthma or had recent symptoms or treatment were asked:

  • whether their asthma had been worse or out of control in the last 12 months and the number of times they had gone to a hospital or emergency department as a result
  • whether they had a written action plan
  • whether they had been woken by asthma or wheezing in the last 4 weeks
  • how often their asthma had interfered in daily activities in the last 4 weeks.

Respondents who reported having asthma were then sequenced to the Actions module in which they were asked questions about whether and how many times they had seen a GP, specialist, etc. in the last 12 months for their asthma.

Respondents were asked in a later module about all medications and health supplements they were taking, but not in relation to any specific condition. This differs from the 2007-08 NHS in which questions about medications taken for asthma were asked within the asthma module. However, if the respondent reported taking asthma medication, they were then asked how often they took it.

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.
  • Almost all cases of asthma were persons who reported having been told by a doctor or nurse they had asthma, however, estimates may not agree with data from other sources using different approaches to the identification of asthma.
  • If a person considered their asthma to be current but had not had symptoms or treatment, they are considered to not have current asthma (conditions status 3: ever told has condition, not current). However, they are still included in asthma actions and asthma condition-specific items. If a person considered their asthma to not be current but had had symptoms or treatment, they are considered to have current asthma (condition status 1: ever told has condition, still current and long-term).

Comparability with 2007-08

Data for most common items are considered directly comparable between the 2011-12 and 2007-08 surveys.

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