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On the front line of health data: The Health Studies User Conference

Health is a constantly evolving field of study, regularly adapting to meet new standards, new scientific research breakthroughs and, more pressing than ever, new crises in medicine, as well as healthcare.

The UK Data Service’s Annual Health Studies User Conference took place on 12 July 2022, with the key objective of keeping researchers up-to-date with the latest developments in health data from social surveys.

Presentations included the Health Survey for England (HSE), the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS), Understanding Society, and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).

Five research paper sessions were held on the themes of Covid-19, mental health, health inequalities and an open session. Papers were presented on topics, such as: ‘Employment related to Covid-19 exposure risk among disabled people in the UK’; ‘Understanding the burden of chronic back pain’; and ‘The effect of social participation on health and well-being’.

The keynote talk was delivered by Dr Laura Johnson, Director of The National Centre for Social Research, who discussed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on health and health related behaviours, as well as the research methods used to investigate these.

All of the conference presentations can be found on the Health Studies User Conference event page.

Plus the event recording will be available on the UK Data Service YouTube channel soon.

Key datasets and resources

Want more information on our key health data and resources? Our Health data theme page lists key health datasets, such as:

  • The European Quality of Life Survey.
  • The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles.
  • The Welsh Health Survey,
  • The Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People, 2016.

If you are interested in using health data for teaching, a couple of health-specific teaching datasets are available – The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), one of which is open access. There are also teaching datasets available for the Health Survey for England, for both the 2003-2005 and 2011 studies, and an ‘Ethnicity and Health’ themed dataset for Understanding Society.