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The Guide informed respondents of their selection in the survey and provided information regarding the background to the survey, interview process and confidentiality provisions under the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
The Registration and Reminder letters contained the log-on credentials to register and complete an online Household Contact Details Form (HCDF). The HCDF was used to gather respondent contact details and best time to call information to arrange an interview. It was available to respondents throughout the enumeration period. This information was used to help interviewers plan their workloads and save unnecessary trips to selected dwellings.
This approach was not possible for a small number of households for which the ABS did not have an adequate postal address. For non-deliverable households, Interviewers left a copy of the Guide and a Non-deliverable Letter informing respondents of their selection in the survey and advising them that an Interviewer would visit to arrange a suitable time to conduct the survey interview.
General characteristics of the household were obtained from any responsible adult (ARA) member of the household, either over the phone (if the respondent had registered and provided their contact details via the HCDF) or upon the first face-to-face contact with the household. This information included the number and basic demographic characteristics of usual residents of the dwelling (e.g. age and sex), and the relationships between those people (e.g. spouse, son/daughter, not related). The ARA was also asked to nominate the person in the household who was best able to provide information about children in the household.
From the information provided by the ARA regarding household composition, those persons in scope of the survey were determined, and, on a random basis, one adult and one child (where applicable) were selected for inclusion in the survey.
If the dwelling contained no usual residents aged 18 years or more, no further information was collected from that household.
If the dwelling contained more than fifteen usual residents, all of whom were in scope, then it was determined whether there was more than one family group living in the dwelling, and each family group was then treated as a separate household.
Personal and Proxy Interviews
A personal interview was conducted with the selected adult (where possible), and an adult was asked to respond on behalf of the selected child aged under 15 years.
In some instances, adult respondents were unable to answer for themselves due to significant long-term 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 selected person. Where possible, the respondent was still present during the interview and physical measurements were taken where appropriate.
In limited circumstances where there were language difficulties, other persons in the household may have acted as an interpreter if this was suggested by the respondent. If not, arrangements were made, where possible, for the interview to be conducted either by an ABS interviewer fluent in the respondent’s own language, or with an ABS interpreter.
Where permission was granted by a parent or guardian, children aged 15-17 years were interviewed in person. If permission was not granted, questions were answered by an adult, who may or may not have been the selected adult respondent in the household. The person answering on behalf of the 15-17 year old is referred to as the Child Proxy. Interviews where a Child Proxy was used are identified by the Proxy status for children data item (see Administrative tab of data item list). There are also data items available which identify parent presence or proxy use at other stages of the interview, including Presence of parent during lifestyle issues discussed with GP question, Presence of parent during alcohol questions and Presence of parent during smoking questions data items (see Administrative tab of data item list).
Certain modules that required personal reflection or that the respondent was physically present were not part of the interview in cases where a proxy was answering and the selected person was not present. These included:
Interviewers were instructed to correctly record whether a proxy interview was being undertaken, and whether the respondent was providing the answers.
To obtain a personal interview with appropriate respondents, interviewers made appointments as necessary with the household. In cases where the HCDF was completed, the Household Form was completed by telephone and the ARA was informed of the selected respondents so that appointments for personal interviews could be arranged. All interviews were, however, conducted face-to-face. Interviews may have been conducted in private or in the presence of other household members according to the wishes of the respondent.
Interviews were conducted on Sundays only when specifically requested by a respondent. Although it is desirable to spread interviews across all days of the week, interviews were conducted on days that suited respondents.
The 2014-15 NHS utilised a Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) instrument to collect the data.
The CAPI instrument allows:
The questionnaire was field tested via cognitive testing and a dress rehearsal to ensure:
The questionnaires employed a number of different approaches for recording information at the interview.
To ensure consistency of approach, interviewers were instructed to ask the interview questions exactly as written. In certain areas of the questionnaire however, interviewers were asked to use indirect and neutral prompts at their discretion, where the response given was, for example, inappropriate to the question asked or lacked sufficient detail necessary for classification and coding. This occurred particularly in relation to type of medical condition where interviewers were asked to prompt for a condition if a treatment or symptom was initially reported.
The questionnaire was designed to be administered using standard ABS procedures for conducting population interview surveys, with regard to the particular aims of the survey and the individual topics within it, and the methodological issues associated with those topics. Other factors considered in designing the questionnaire included the length of individual questions, the use of easily understood words and concepts, the number of subjects and overall length of the questionnaire, and the sensitivity of topics. Where appropriate, previous ABS questions on the topics covered were adopted.
The 2014-15 NHS questionnaire was based on the 2011-12 NHS component of the 2011-12 AHS, modified as appropriate to incorporate new and changed survey content. Information collected included:
A copy of the 2014-15 NHS Questionnaire and prompt cards are available through the Downloads tab and also on the ABS website through the Downloads tab in the 4364.0.55.001 - National health Survey: First Results, 2014-15 .
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