In addition to the continuous New South Wales Population Health Survey, the Health Survey Program is involved in other surveys and studies. Some of the publications and reports relating to these other surveys and studies are:
In 2009 the Centre for Epidemiology and Research conducted the New South Wales Falls Prevention Baseline Survey to inform the review of the Management Policy to Reduce Falls Injury Among Older People 2003-07. The mains aims of the survey are to provide information about falls carers, falls status, risk and protective factors, consultation with health professionals, and falls knowledge, among community-dwelling older people. This report from the survey provides information about the health of 5,681 adults aged 65 years and over, which will provide a baseline measure against which policy can be developed and the effectiveness of population health initiatives can be evaluated.
New South Wales Falls Prevention Baseline Survey: 2009 Report
The Responsible Gambling Fund of the NSW Office of Liquor, Racing and Gaming funded the inclusion of gambling questions in the NSW Population Health Survey in 2008. The gambling module links information about gambling behaviour with information on alcohol use, physical activity, current smoking, and mental health (psychological distress). The results measure whether the respondent gambles frequently and, if so, whether their gambling causes problems. The results are presented in two forms: adults 16 years and over; adults 18 years and over.
The NSW Department of Health has been contracted to conduct a general health survey on behalf of ACT Health. The telephone survey will target a sample of approximately 1,300 completed interviews per annum (1000 adults and 300 children). The questionnaire includes modules already collected as part of the continuous NSW Population Health Survey and additional modules specific to the ACT. The NSW Department of Health will provide a summary report of the survey, annually for adult data and biennially for child data. This report will include a summary of indicators including alcohol risk drinking behaviour, daily fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity, smoking status, smoke free households, self rated health status, current asthma status, diabetes status, oral health, overweight and obesity, psychological distress, difficulties getting health care, and emergency department and hospital care. All analyses will be undertaken on weighted data.
Participants were recruited via the New South Wales Population Health Survey for this study, which measured the efficacy of pedometers in promoting walking in the community. The design was a randomized controlled trial conducted from August to December 2005. Analysis was completed in June 2006. Participants were inactive adults aged 30-65 years (n=369). The intervention was comparison of a theoretically based self-help walking program and weekly diaries (sent by mail), the same walking program with a pedometer (also by mail), and a no-treatment control group. The conclusions were that pedometers enhanced the effects of the self-help walking program, and that this low-cost intervention should be tested for sustainability. The findings of this study were published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2007 (Volume 32, Issue 4).
The full scale study aims to determine whether there are any health risks from swimming at Sydney beaches and, if so, whether these risks are associated with beach water quality. The design is a cohort study. Participants include adults aged 18 years and over from the general beachgoing population and children (nippers) between 5 and 18 years of age recruited from surf life saving clubs. Participants will be recruited at the beach by the interviewers. An initial interview will be completed at the beach. Each participant will then be followed up after 5 days by telephone with a follow-up questionnaire. The follow-up questionnaire will include information on swimming during the initial beach interview, subsequent swimming episodes, and experience of symptoms such as gastroenteritis, respiratory illness, and ear or eye ailments. If the participant agrees, a second follow-up interview will be conducted by telephone after a further 7 days. The pilot study will give specific information on recruitment issues, participation rates, follow-up rates, and ease and suitability of both initial and follow-up questionnaires. It will also clarify any problems with the water sampling and analysis method.
This research project is a collaboration between the Centre for Epidemiology and Research, NSW Department of Health, and the Mental Health Disaster Adversity and Terrorism Unit, University of Western Sydney. The collaboration has three aims: to develop and field test a Secure Against Fear Exposure (SAFE) health survey question module; to conduct a community survey to determine risk perceptions and psychosocial effects; and to develop a brief version of the SAFE question module for rapid deployment in the event of an actual terrorist event or pandemic influenza.
The primary aim of the physical activity measurement study, conducted by the Centre for Physical Activity and Health at the University of Sydney, was to examine the validity and reliability of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) past-year physical activity questionnaire. The Centre compared the EPIC responses to accelerometer data collected at 3 7-day periods throughout one-year, and also compared the responses to other physical activity questionnaires (IPAQ and LTPAQ). Eligible study participants included men and women aged 50-65 years living in Sydney. A total of 190 volunteer participants were recruited, from several sources including the New South Wales Population Health Survey (63 per cent), workplaces (33 per cent), and word-of-mouth (4 per cent). The study was completed at the end of 2006 and the first research paper from the study is currently under review.
The Centre for Health Protection of the NSW Department of Health has commissioned the Health Survey Program to conduct telephone surveys on specific phage types of Salmonella that need further investigation. Initially, small numbers of people with a specific phage type of Salmonella, identified from the Notifiable Disease Database, are interviewed over the phone to identify possible sources of infection. Once possible sources of infection have been identified, a case-control study is initiated if required. Further cases are provided from the Notifiable Disease Database. Cases are recruited by random digit dialling, or directly from the electronic white pages, depending on the population of interest. Cases are asked about foods eaten in the week before the onset of illness. For controls, a food history is established for a typical week during the time that the outbreak occurred and also the week before the interview. Cases and controls are also asked about their history of illness and travel. To date investigations have occurred for Salmonella Typhimurium phage type 12 (in 2004) and Salmonella Typhimurium phage types 170 and 197 (in 2005).
The New South Wales Height, Weight, and Waist Circumference Module of the National Survey of Adult Oral Health provides an opportunity to obtain measures of overweight and obesity in the state population. From the information obtained through this module in 2005, we plan to produce: a report on the distribution of Body Mass Index (BMI) of adults in New South Wales, including trend analysis and an analysis against dietary patterns; a report on the difference between self-reported and measured height and weight; a report on the consumption of food groups that are indicators of nutritional health; and an analysis of the relationship between BMI categories and oral health status.
In 1999 the first AusDiab study was conducted to accurately measure the prevalence of diabetes and associated risk factors in Australia. A five-year follow-up study was conducted in 2004 to monitor outcomes of the people who participated in the 1999 study, to examine the natural history of diabetes, its complications, impaired glucose metabolism, as well as cardiovascular disease and stroke.
In 2004, the NSW Department of Health and area health services offered diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination to all high school students in New South Wales. In October and November 2005, the Health Survey Program conducted a satisfaction survey of a sample of parents or guardians of students vaccinated through the program to ascertain whether they were satisfied with how the program was conducted, and with the materials (such as the Parent Information Kit containing the consent card) given to them. About 850 parents and guardians from across the state took part in this telephone survey.
The Centre for Public Health, Greater Murray Area Health Service, commissioned the NSW Department of Health to conduct a telephone survey to study possible health problems resulting from bushfire smoke at high levels, as occurred across the southern New South Wales and northeast Victoria border early in 2003. The Albury population was chosen for the survey because of access to data on the pollution levels from the local Environmental Protection Authority's monitoring device in the area. Approximately 390 Albury residents were interviewed over a period of 2–3 weeks in the evenings during February and March 2003. The survey has provide important information about the symptoms people experienced as well as measures they took to avoid the smoke. The study also looked at hospital admissions and visits to emergency departments related to the bushfire smoke.
Bushfire Smoke Pollution, Albury, 2003: The Acute Health Impact
This survey, conducted in 2003, investigated the frequency of self-reported head injury, or blows to the head, among people in the Hunter and Mid North Coast and among those in the justice system. Participants were asked whether they had ever had a head injury. Those who reported yes were asked questions about the cause, severity, treatment, any after-effects, and use of alcohol and other drugs.
In autumn 2002, an outbreak of probable psittacosis occurred among residents of the Blue Mountains district of New South Wales. The Centre for Health Protection conducted a case–control study to determine independent risk factors for psittacosis by comparing exposures between patients (cases) and other residents (controls). The Health Survey Program interviewed cases as well as controls. Both cases and controls completed a detailed telephone questionnaire that included questions on demographics; contact with poultry, pet, and free-ranging birds; types of bird contact; other animal contact; and gardening and other outdoor activities undertaken in the three weeks before onset of illness (cases) or the three-week period April 1–21, 2002 (controls).
Probable Psittacosis Outbreak Linked to Wild Birds
This study represents the second phase of an investigation into potential community health effects of the M5 East Motorway Stack. The study was designed after considering the first phase of the investigation, which identified a possible relationship between the stack and symptoms among community members who perceived that the stack was affecting their health. A survey was conducted to compare the prevalence of eye, nose and throat symptoms between areas with relatively high, medium and low levels of exposure to stack emissions, using an analysis of emitted pollutants and pollutant readings at local monitoring sites from February 2002 to January 2003. Within each of the three areas households and individuals were selected at random for telephone interview. Information was collected from 1,431 individuals on eye, nose and throat symptoms, as well as demographic characteristics, general health, exposure to tobacco smoke, and other indoor pollutants. The report found no evidence of an association between prevalence of self-reported symptoms and modelled emissions from the stack.
Investigation into the possible health impacts of the M5 East Motorway Stack on the Turrella community - Report
In 2001, the Health Survey Program interviewed a random sample of parents and carers of pre-adolescent children between 10 and 13 years of age in New South Wales, to estimate the rate of hepatitis B immunisation in this age group. Parents who reported their children were immunised were asked to locate each child's personal health record (the Blue Book) and provide the date of immunisation for confirmation. Parents who reported their children had not been immunised were asked to provide the reasons for not immunising and whether they were aware that free hepatitis B immunisation was available for this age group. All parents were asked questions about their knowledge and attitudes towards hepatitis B immunisation, including their sources of information about hepatitis B. Parents were not prompted for answers, which were categorised by the interviewer. Demographic information collected included: the number and sex of children in the household, parents' ethnicity and educational level, local government area, postcode, and number of residential phones in the household.
Immunisation: A Public Health Success
In August 1998, the NSW Department of Health initiated a household survey after a boil-water alert. Subjects were asked about the incidence of diarrhoeal illness and compliance with the alert. The survey included 503 people in 163 households in areas of Sydney affected by the alert, and 520 people in 173 households in areas unaffected by the alert. Participants were randomly selected from the electronic white pages and stratified by area health service. Following a second boil-water alert issued on 25 August, the NSW Department of Health began a second survey of households in affected and unaffected areas. The second survey covered 763 persons in 261 households affected by the alert, and 595 persons in 195 households in areas unaffected by the alert.
The Sydney Water Incident: July-September 1998