Consumer behaviour - Economics
Income, property and investment - Economics
ONS Omnibus Survey - Major studies
Accidents and injuries - Health
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
Childbearing, family planning and abortion - Health
Physical fitness and exercise - Health
Legislation and legal systems - Law, crime and legal systems
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:
Investment Income (Module 7a): this module was asked to discover how much interest, tax exempt or tax deducted, respondents earn on money kept in building society and bank accounts.
National Health Service Opinions (Module 31): this module asks about respondent's state of health, recent use of health services, and their opinions about the NHS generally and on specific aspects.
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): method of birth control used and reasons for choice; changes in methods used; views on reliability of methods; the use of Family Planning Clinics; awareness of emergency methods for use after intercourse has taken place; views on contraceptive implants. This module was asked of men aged 16-69 and women aged 16-49 only.
Campaign for Better English (Module 134): the main purpose of these questions was to monitor people's views and to find out if they had heard of the Campaign for Better English.
Evaluation of Health Promotion Advertisements (Module 160): the purpose of this module was to evaluate three advertisements encouraging physical activity and exercise run by the Health Education Authority during January in the tabloid press. It was used on respondents in England only.
Home Contents Insurance (Module 161): the purpose of the module was to find out why people do or do not have home contents insurance. The module was only asked of the head of household or their spouse/partner.
Small Claims Procedure (Module 162): this module, asked on behalf of the Court Service measured people's awareness of the Small Claims Procedure.
Alcohol from EU Countries (Module 164): this module aims to assess the extent of cross-border shopping since the Single Market was introduced. It is only concerned with alcohol bought in other European Community countries in shops other than duty free shops.
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.