Accidents and injuries - Health
Childbearing, family planning and abortion - Health
ONS Omnibus Survey - Major studies
Drug abuse, alcohol and smoking - Health
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
Specific diseases and medical conditions - Health
Mass media - Media, communication and language
|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:
Fire Safety (Module 33): this module asks about fire safety and is asked in connection with Fire Safety Week. Questions assess awareness of fire risks and fire safety measures the respondent has taken.
GP Accidents (Module 78n): this module asked about accidents the respondent had had where help was sought that could have involved a doctor e.g. doctor's surgery, hospital.
Contraception (Module 106): this module asks about contraceptive methods used presently and previously and about awareness of various contraceptive methods e.g. post-coital methods.
Hearing and TV Subtitles (Module 115): this module is asked only of those respondents who either say they have hearing difficulties or who say they have difficulty hearing the TV when the volume is normal. This module is asked of a maximum of two household members who fit the criteria. The module asks about the use of and opinions about tv subtitles.
Drink Awareness (Module 143): this module asks about drinking habits and attitudes and knowledge about drinking guidelines.
Sun Know How Campaign (Module 151): this module aims to monitor public awareness of a recent HEA Sun Know How Campaign and the impact it made on the public. The campaign was run to raise awareness of the risk of skin cancer from sunbathing etc.
Delay in Moving (Module 152): this module is asked only of those respondents who currently own their home outright or are buying it with the help of a mortgage. It aims to assess the frequency with which a delay of at least a month occurs between completion and the householders moving into the new property.
Attitudes to AIDS and HIV (Module 153): this module aims to find out about people's awareness of AIDS, the risks leading to AIDS and their perception of the disease.
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.