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The NHS also collected information on sight and hearing and other long-term conditions.
In the specific conditions modules, respondents are asked whether they have been diagnosed. Respondents are also asked whether the condition is current and long-term, except where an assumption is made (e.g. cancers are considered to be long-term if they are identified as current). This is discussed in more detail in the individual sections on these conditions. Each reported condition was then classified into the following condition status output categories:
2. Ever told has condition, still current but not long-term
3. Ever told has condition, not current.
Respondents without a condition are classified into category 5: Never told, not current or long-term. An additional category '4: Not known or not ever told, but condition current and long-term' is also used where respondents are not asked about diagnosis.
Condition prevalence is usually reported based on categories 1 and 4 (where applicable in NHS), i.e. that the condition is current and long-term. Diabetes and, some heart stroke and vascular conditions were reported as long term and current, regardless of the condition status reported at interview. Current long-term conditions are defined as medical conditions (illnesses, injuries or disabilities) which were current at the time of the survey and which had lasted at least six months, or which the respondent expected to last for six months or more, including:
In addition to the above conditions, the NHS collected information on self-assessed health, disabilities and bodily pain.
Information was obtained for all persons.
Classification of conditions
Conditions reported by respondents were coded to a single list of approximately 1000 specific condition and condition group categories (referred to as the "1000 input code list" in this publication). This list covers the more common types of long-term conditions experienced in the Australian community. The list was initially developed by the Family Medicine Research Centre at the University of Sydney, in consultation with the ABS, for the 2001 NHS. The detailed output classification used for NHS was developed by the ABS based on mapping between the 1000 input code list and 10th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD10) provided by the Family Medicine Research Centre. The classification takes into account:
While information from the ICD10 was used in the development of this list, results are generally not available classified to the most detailed condition level based on ICD10. As the data are from a sample survey, there are not enough observations to support reliable estimates at that level of detail.
A computer-based coding system was developed by the ABS based on this list, and interviewers were able to select from it using a trigram coder which was built into the Computer Assisted Interview (CAI) instruments. Predefined response categories in the questionnaires were allocated unique codes within the 1000 input code list.
For the majority of conditions, interviewers were able to select the appropriate condition from either category responses for questions or from a trigram coder attached to ‘other’ response categories. Where the interviewer could not find the condition in the coder or the condition name was not known at the time of the interview, efforts were made to ensure that the description of each condition which was recorded at interview was as precise and informative as possible, to enable detailed, accurate and consistent coding of conditions. Copies of the standard classifications of medical conditions available from the NHS are contained in Appendix 2: Classification of medical conditions available in the Downloads page of this product.
Number of conditions
There are four data items available from the 2017-18 NHS relating to the number of conditions reported. They are:
Chronic conditions are conditions that contribute to premature mortality and morbidity. Persons diagnosed with one or more types of chronic conditions often have complex health needs, have poorer quality of life and die prematurely.
In the First Release publication, 'selected chronic conditions' consist of the following:
Number of selected chronic condition groups
The number of selected chronic conditions data item counts the number of chronic condition groups an individual has at least one condition within. For individuals who may have multiple conditions that belong to the same condition type (e.g. Mental and behavioural conditions), these conditions are only counted once, For example, a person with Anxiety and Depression (and no other chronic condition) is counted once within the Mental and Behavioural conditions group.
This data item combines information from two separate data items: Type of condition ICD10 and Condition Status. These combined items are then given a weight to create a count of the number of chronic conditions groups that an individual has at least one condition in. The table below describes the combination of the conditions used in this data item as well as the status of the conditions reported. Results using this data item are presented Table 1, 18 and 19 of National Health Survey: First Results 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001)
Specifications of the number of chronic conditions group data item
Number of selected chronic condition groups comparability with 2014-15
The definition of number of chronic conditions was changed between 2014-15 NHS and 2017-18 NHS and are not comparable. In 2017-18, the definition was expanded to include kidney disease and osteoporosis, while the inclusion of cardiovascular disease previously included in 2014-15 NHS was reduced to selected heart, stroke and vascular diseases. In addition to the definition change, the title of the data item has changed from 'Number of chronic diseases' to 'Number of selected chronic condition groups'.
Time series data presented in Table 1 of the National Health Survey: First Results 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) use the 2017-18 definition.
Points to consider
More information regarding comparisons between 2014-15 NHS and previous cycles is available in the National Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2014-15 (cat. no. 4363.0).
This section contains the following subsections:
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