Health, care use and lifestyle

Figures on health, care use and lifestyle were measured as part of the Health Survey/Lifestyle Monitor 2020. The lifestyle factors were surveyed in cooperation with RIVM and the Trimbos Institute. The Health/Survey/Lifestyle Monitor provides an overview of health perceptions, lifestyle and care use among the population living in private households. This means the figures do not cover people living in institutional households.

Self-perceived health
This was measured by asking the question ‘How is your health/the health of your child in general?’. The five possible answers were: excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. The indicator is applicable to people of all ages.

Mental health problems
These are measured by asking five questions from the Mental Health Inventory -5. These questions are about the way people were feeling over the previous four weeks. This covers the population aged 12 years or older.

General practitioners, specialists, dentists
Care use was measured by asking about any consultations with GP and specialists over the past four weeks. People were also asked how often they had visited the dentist over the past four4 weeks. These figures are obtained from all age groups.

Smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity
The smoking indicator is about any daily smoking habit. The alcohol indicator is about excessive consumption of alcohol. Excessive consumption in men is consumption of 21 or more units per week. In women, excessive consumption means 14 or more units per week. The measure for overweight is the Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI is the quotient of a person’s body mass (weight) in kilograms and the square of their body height in metres [kg/m2]. If the BMI is 25 or more, a person is referred to as being seriously overweight or obese. The indicators on smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity are related to the population aged 18 and over.

Reference period
For the indicators on mental health, GP consultations, specialist consultations and dental visits, the data are obtained from answers which were provided over a reference period of four weeks. Survey respondents were asked to report over the 4 weeks prior to the survey. This means that survey respondents who participated at the beginning of a quarter provided answers which were partly based on events in the previous quarter. This may also mean that a respondent took part in the survey during the timeframe of the coronavirus measures but that their answers were (partly) referring to a period without such measures.

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