For Debate Local health and lifestyle surveys - do the results justify the costs?
Jenkins, Linda M.
A recent review of health and lifestyle surveys conducted in general adult populations within London attempted to compare the results of these surveys. Although only the most common aspects of health and lifestyle were compared there were few points of comparison between surveys and major differences in technique and structure of questions. There were also few results where health-related behaviour differed significantly from what one would expect from national surveys. It is suggested that local surveys on general adult populations are often too small to reveal new information with any confidence and that the cost of a larger survey may be hard to justify. Though monitoring and health surveillance are important a general population survey for large geographic areas such as health authorities is not always the best approach and more focused surveys should be preferred as well as methods which exploit existing sources of information. \ud \ud \ud Keywords: health and lifestyle surveys, health-related behaviour surveys, needs assessment
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