Publication - Statistics

Scottish Health Survey: interviewee FAQs

Published: 13 Jan 2020

This section provides information for those who have been asked to take part in the Scottish Health Survey and explains how the information you provide will be handled.

13 Jan 2020
Scottish Health Survey: interviewee FAQs

Why is this research important and why should I take part?

The survey provides information about the health, and factors relating to health, of people living in Scotland.  Whilst NHS statistics provide information about people in hospital or those visiting their GP, the survey allows the Scottish Government to get information that represents the Scottish population as a whole.  It is also provides a way to link information on lifestyle factors to health outcomes.  It was designed to:

  • estimate the prevalence of particular health conditions in Scotland
  • estimate the prevalence of certain risk factors associated with these health conditions and to document the pattern of related health behaviours
  • look at differences between regions and between subgroups of the population in the extent of their having these particular health conditions or risk factors, and to make comparisons with other national statistics for Scotland and England
  • monitor trends in the population's health over time
  • make a major contribution to monitoring progress towards health targets.

The Scottish Health Survey is essential for the Scottish Government's forward planning, for identifying gaps in health services provision and for identifying which groups are at particular risk of future ill-health. We need to talk to a wide range of people to get an accurate picture of the health of the nation. The Scottish Health Survey is designed to represent people of different ages, sexes, geographic areas and backgrounds.

How will the information I provide be handled?

The privacy information at the end of this page explains how the information you provide for the Scottish Health Survey will be handled, in accordance with the data protection legislation.

How long will the interview take?

The interview length will vary depending upon a number of factors such as how many people live in your household and how old they are. When the interviewer calls he or she can give you an idea of how long your interview might take, and can then book an appointment at a time that suits you best.

What does participation involve?

If your household has been selected to take part in the Scottish Health Survey, we will first send you a letter to inform you and to ask for your participation. You will then receive a visit from an interviewer.

All interviewers carry an identity card with their photograph - they must show you this when they visit your address. Local police have been alerted to the fact that interviewers are working in their area. Never let an interviewer into your household until you have seen their identity card.

The questions you will be asked are about your health and lifestyle, so they are interesting and easy to answer.

If you have any additional queries, or wish to speak to someone about participating in the survey, please call (freephone) 0800 652 4569.