4363.0 - National Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2017-18  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2019   
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Self-assessed health


This is a single question about how respondents rated their overall health against a five point scale from excellent through to poor.


Information was obtained for persons aged 15 years and over.


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 questionnaire, data items and related output categories for this topic are available in pdf / 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 children 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. In the NHS, we refer to a person responding on behalf of a child (15-17) or adult (18 years and over) as a Child or Adult Proxy respectively. Proxy use items are available on the data files for additional analysis if required.

Comparability with

Self-assessed health status data are considered directly comparable between 2017-18 NHS and 2014-15 NHS.

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).