The local Health Information Study (HIS) provides an overall view of the health status and health needs of the population of municipalities in Flanders. This enables the participating municipalities to make evidence based decisions and to set priorities in their local public health policy.
The local HIS aims to describe the health status and health needs of the population of municipalities in Flanders. It is a cross-sectional study carried out in the local population of Flemish municipalities. The questions included in the local HIS are based on those from the national HIS, which examines the health status of the whole population of Belgium since 1997. It covers:
- the health status and wellbeing of the population
- the lifestyle and behaviors that are determinants of health
- the physical and social environment related to health.
Within each of these broad domains, specific topics are subject to investigation in function of their relevance in terms of local surveillance and need for public health decision making at the local level.
The local health survey collects information on health issues analogous to the national HIS. Due to budgetary constraints, however, it is limited to a self-administered paper or web questionnaire. The target population is defined as all people with a minimum age of 15 residing in the municipality, regardless of their place of birth, nationality or any other characteristic. The baseline net sample of survey participants is set at 1,000 people. The collected data depends on the individuals’ self-perception and is regarded as subjective. The results are written down in a report to hand over to the municipality.