Income, property and investment - Economics
General - Employment and labour
ONS Omnibus Survey - Major studies
Accidents and injuries - Health
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
General - Health
Family life and marriage - Social stratification and groupings
|The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, formerly known as ONS Opinions Survey or Omnibus, is a regular, multi-purpose survey which was carried out in eight months of the year until April 2005. From this point it has run monthly. It started operating commercially in 1990 and was set up originally to meet the needs of government departments for a survey that used short and simple sets of questions, had greater statistical reliability than private sector omnibus surveys and a properly designed random sample. Now, however, an increasing number of academics are finding it a valuable research tool.
The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey is used for a number of purposes, for example:
- to provide quick answers to questions of immediate interest
- to provide information on topics that do not require a full survey
- to develop and pilot questions for other surveys
- to sift for subgroups that can be followed up in another survey
From January 2008 the ONS Omnibus Survey changed its name to the ONS Opinions Survey (OPN) and became part of the Integrated Household Survey (IHS). As a result, certain classificatory variables were altered to harmonise with the rest of the surveys that form the IHS. For further information, see detailed breakdown of the changes contained within the documentation for 2008 studies onwards.
Subsequently, in January 2010, the OPN component was dropped from the IHS due to only one individual per household being interviewed, while the IHS requires questions to be asked of all household members. This process significantly increased the length of the OPN interview and, therefore, OPN reverted back to interviewing one household member, but still contains questions harmonised to the IHS.
From April 2012 the ONS Opinions Survey changed its name to the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey following the merger of the non-EU-SILC questions from the General Lifestyle Survey.
Special Licence Access Opinions and Lifestyle Survey data
With effect from 2008, the decision was made by ONS to make all new and existing Disability Monitoring data (Module 363) and Contraception data (Module 170) issuable only to Approved Researchers under Special Licence access conditions due to the disclosive nature of the modules. See the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey Special Licence Access datasets page.
Each month's questionnaire consists of two elements: core questions, covering demographic information, are asked each month together with non-core questions that vary from month to month.
|The non-core questions for this month were:
Mortgage Arrears (Module 2): source of mortgage, if any; whether behind in payments, and if so reasons for falling behind. Also question on whether bought from a right to buy scheme.
GP Accidents (Module 78): accidents in previous three months that resulted in seeing a doctor or going to hospital; where accident happened; whether saw a GP or went straight to hospital. For accidents involving either the respondent or other household member, which resulted in a GP being seen, details of items of equipment involved in the accident were recorded.
Work-related Illness (Module 122): respondents who were in full-time employment, or had been within the past 10 years, were asked questions concerning the following: physical working conditions; workloads; exposure to harmful substances or fumes; exposure to noise; threats of, or exposure to, physical violence from the public. All respondents were asked questions concerning their health including: chest or respiratory complaints; heart disease; breathing difficulties; smoking habits; asthma; hay fever; hearing difficulties; stress.
Family Formation (Module 123): this module asks about the composition of the family that the respondents have lived in up to their 16th birthday, including changes in the composition and the age of the respondent at the time of the change.
By principal investigator(s):
OPCS (1991?) OPCS Omnibus: review of the first six months, London: OPCS.
Resulting from secondary analysis:
Search for ONS Omnibus Survey in ESDS Government publication search.
Bowling, A. (1994) What things are important in people's lives?: a survey of the public's judgements to inform scales of health-related quality of life, end-of-award report prepared for the ESRC award no. R000221191, St. Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, Health Needs Assessment Unit, September.
Hall, D. (1996) Organ donation and the idea of the body, University of Liverpool, Department of Sociology.
Bowling, A. et al. (1999) 'Short Form 36 (SF-36) Health Survey questionnaire: which normative data should be used? Comparisons between the norms provided by the Omnibus Survey in Britain, the Health Survey for England and the Oxford Healthy Life Survey', Journal of Public Health Medicine, 21(3), pp.255-270.
Lampard, R. and Peggs, K. (2007) Identity and repartnering after separation, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
The Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) has produced a 'Data Dictionary' covering summary information on UK-based survey series (including ONS Omnibus) that include any data on alcohol use. Further information and links to the dictionary documents may be found on the IAS Data Dictionary - Table of Contents web page.