|The Welsh Health Survey (WHS) collects information about the health of people living in Wales, the way they use health services, and the factors that can affect their health. The current WHS series was conducted for the first time in 2003-2004. It was commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), and carried out by a consortium comprising the National Centre for Social Research, Beaufort Research Limited, and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. The new WHS replaces two previous study series: the previous WHS, conducted in 1995 and 1998 (the 1998 WHS is held at the UK Data Archive under SN 4176), and the Health in Wales Survey which was conducted five times in 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1996 (none are currently held at the UKDA). Users should note that results from the new WHS survey are not comparable with those from the previous surveys, because of differences in the questionnaires and survey methodology.
The new WHS is designed to:
The WHS is based on a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over living in private households in Wales, and also collects a limited amount of information about children in those households.
- provide estimates of health status, health determinants and health service use
- contribute to setting and monitoring targets and indicators in the health strategies and National Service Frameworks
- examine differences between population sub-groups (such as sex, age, social class) and local areas
- provide a direct measurement of need for health care for National Health Service resource allocation in Wales
- provide local health board- and local authority-level information for the development of joint local health, social care and well-being strategies
Further information about the WHS, including links to publications, may be found on the Welsh Assembly Government's WHS web pages.
For the second edition (February 2011), the Welsh Health Survey All Waves User Guide was added to the study documentation.
The main topics covered in the WHS for adults are health service use, health status, illnesses and other conditions, and health-related lifestyle (including smoking, alcohol, diet and exercise). Demographic characteristics and information on medical conditions for children in the same households are also collected.