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National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

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  • Modify Date:Modify Date:2021/11/10
  • Publish Date:Publish Date:2017/11/01

The National Health Interview Survey has been one of the principal sources of information that enables public health sectors to monitor the health status of the population. The first National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) in Taiwan was conducted in 2001 with joint efforts from the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) and the Taiwan HPA. Since then, the survey has been conducted every four years to collect policy-relevant information for policy-making and program evaluation.

Aim of the Survey
● To investigate people’s health status and health behavior
● To understand people’s health care utilization
● To collect policy-relevant information for decision making and program evaluation

Sampling Design and Survey Method 
The most recent survey was conducted in 2021. The interviewees in this survey comprised a national and city/county representative sample of the whole population of the country (including Kinmen County and Lienchiang County). A multistage stratified systematic sampling design was applied. The townships were stratified by urbanization and location before sampling. Village/Lin in sampled townships and then the individual in sampled village/Lin were selected step by step following the principle of probability proportional to size (PPS).

Data were collected using face to face interview. Since 2009, a computer-assisted personal interview tool was implemented to improve efficiency and data quality of the survey.
Self-administered questionnaires were sometimes applied to those who complete face-to-face questionnaire interviews and were eligible to fill out the self-administered questionnaires. For example, an anonymous self-administered questionnaire was applied in 2005 and 2009 with the involvement of the National Bureau of Controlled Drugs (NBCD, now merged into the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration), to investigate the prevalence of illicit drug use. Also in 2017, two short sets of health literacy questionnaires were applied as optional modules on two randomly selected sub-samples of the survey.

Content of the Survey
There were three sets of questionnaires designated for interviewees aged under 12, 12 to 64, and 65 or above respectively. The contents of the questionnaire include:
● Personal characteristics
● Health status
● Knowledge of disease prevention
● Health care utilization
● Health behaviors
● Occupation and economic status

For international comparison, the NHIS also includes health measurements, such as:
● 36-Item Short Form (SF-36)
● Euro Qol-5 Dimension (EQ-5D)
● Global Activity Limitation Indicator (GALI)
● Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)
● Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)
● Washington Group Disability Questions
● Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ)

Survey Result
Part of the survey results were included in the Statistical Yearbook of Health Promotion, please refer to the following link (

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