1.1 The Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) is a continuation of a long established series of national surveys on smoking, drinking and drug use. These were carried out jointly in Scotland and England between 1982 and 2000, to provide a national picture of young peoples' smoking, drinking, and drug use behaviours within the context of other lifestyle, health and social factors. Since 2002, Scotland has developed its own, more tailored, survey known as SALSUS.
1.2 SALSUS measures progress towards Scottish Government targets for smoking and drug use, and are used to inform the Scottish Government priority for addressing harmful drinking among young people.
1.3 The survey series also provides local prevalence rates for smoking, drinking and drug use across Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs), local authorities and NHS Boards. SALSUS data are used in a number of the ADP national core indicators, which allows them to monitor their progress against a common set of outcomes. ADPs and their community planning partners make extensive use of SALSUS data in local needs assessments and in developing their strategic priorities.
1.4 SALSUS datasets are stored on the UK Data Archive and are available to researchers.
1.5 SALSUS is currently paper-based. However, as technology has advanced, the transition from paper to online administration is being considered for the 2015 wave of SALSUS.
1.6 Moving from paper to online administration can bring cost efficiencies and improved data quality. However, previous research and experience suggests it can be harder for schools to administer online surveys, it can result in decreased response rates and changing the mode may also affect the responses.
1.7 Ipsos MORI Scotland has been commissioned to undertake the 2015 wave of SALSUS and, as part of that contract, to conduct a study to explore the feasibility of administering the survey online. Depending on the results of the feasibility study, there may then be an online pilot and a mode effect experiment to assess whether the change of mode has any significant impact on results.
1.8 This report presents the findings from the feasibility study.
Email: Emma McCallum