HIS2018 - Health Interview Survey 2018

Last updated on 16-3-2018 by Daisy Tysmans
January 1, 2017
December 31, 2019

Service(s) working on this project

In short

By conducting a Health Interview Survey (HIS), an overall view of the health of the population can be assessed: how many people suffer from specific diseases, what about their mental health, how many times do they consult a generalist or a specialist,… An unhealthy lifestyle is closely associated with diseases. Therefore it is important also to know how many people smoke, drink too much alcohol, lack physical activity … This information is useful to develop policies directed towards improving the health of the population.

Project summary

The Health Interview Survey (HIS) is a cross-sectional population survey that was first carried out in 1997 and has been repeated four times since then. In 2018, the sixth HIS will be organised. The HIS is funded by all Ministers involved in public health policy at federal, regional and communal levels.

The baseline net sample of survey participants is predefined at 3,500 people in the Flemish and Walloon Regions and 3,000 in the Brussels Region. Stratified multistage clustered sampling is used to compose the sample: a limited number of municipalities are selected in which the survey will be conducted. In the selected municipalities households are selected for participation, in the selected household maximum four members are selected. To account for non-participation and to ensure the realisation of the predefined net sample size, matched substitution of non-participating households is applied.

Data collection in the HIS occurs through in-person interviews for which Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) are used.  No age limits are set for participating in the HIS; however, a proxy interview is applied for children beneath the age of 15.  The more sensitive data is collected by means of an auto-questionnaire, only to be completed by respondents > 15 years. The content of the questionnaire covers four domains: health status, medical consumption, lifestyle and prevention. The HIS fits within the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS). As such, EHIS health indicators are integrated in the HIS, which enables a comparison of the Belgian results with those of the other European Union Member States.

The results of the HIS are grouped in comprehensive reports: every health indicator is presented in terms of socio-demographic and socio-economic background information. If possible, trends throughout time are calculated. An interactive tool (HISIA) is developed for those users interested in conducting their own analysis online. The HIS database, covering all the health surveys conducted so far can also be obtained for further analysis after a consent from the Privacy Commission.

Further details can be found on the website of the Health Interview Survey.

Associated publications

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