3414.0 - Guide to Migrant Statistical Sources, 2011 (Edition 2)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/03/2011   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



The South Australian Social and Environmental Risk Context Information System (SERCIS)


The South Australian Social and Environmental Risk Context Information System (SERCIS) is a telephone survey system administered by the Population Research and Outcomes Studies Unit of The University of Adelaide (since January 2011), and previously by the SA Department of Health.

SERCIS is used to conduct epidemiological surveys into particular health topics and provide high quality health data on large samples of the South Australian population. For instance, SERCIS was used to conduct the Migrant Health Survey covering October 1996 to February 1997 for the Migrant Health Service, a Division of the South Australian Health Commission.

The purpose of SERCIS is to provide a flexible, timely survey system that can be used to survey households in specific areas or regions, regarding particular health matters, at any time of the year. It is particularly applicable for surveys where planning information is required about health problems, use of health services, consumer perspectives or health outcomes. The data are acquired in order to describe health problems and compare the health status and activities of different population or regional groups, either cross-sectionally or over time.

SERCIS has been in operation since 1995.


SERCIS is an information system used to conduct a range of surveys with different outcomes and objectives. Subjects in scope vary accordingly.


  • Country of birth
  • Year of arrival
  • Main language spoken at home

Although topics covered by SERCIS vary from survey to survey, a common list of topics and data items follows:

Demographic data items:
Marital status, level of education, work status, age, Aboriginal status, occupation, sex, income, household members (under 18), household members (over 18).

Health data items:
Health service use, health instruments, chronic disease, injury, diet and nutrition, immunisation, alcohol consumption, body mass index (height and weight), child abuse/neglect, child health, physical activity, smoking, abuse/assault (emotional, physical, sexual), child activities/practices/diet, crime, domestic violence, exercise, immunisation.


Geographic coverage varies according to the requirements of the individual survey. SERCIS is capable of surveying populations nationally, within South Australia, within a selection of Australian states and territories, or within particular regions of South Australia.


The PROS unit publishes a summary report for each SERCIS survey. Included in this report are the results of the survey, a summary of the main findings, background information on the survey topic and survey methodology, and information on the demographic characteristics of respondents.

During analysis, the survey data are weighted to the sex, age and geographical area profile of the population of interest and the probability of selection within a household so that the survey findings are applicable to that population as a whole. The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Residential Population data are used for the weighting process.

A listing of SERCIS reports and publications can be found on the Population Research and Outcome Studies Unit website.


Population Research and Outcome Studies Unit
Ph: 08 8313 1211
Email: anne.taylor@adelaide.edu.au
Email: eleonora.dalgrande@adelaide.edu.au
Web: http://health.adelaide.edu.au/pros/