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Healthy Ireland survey ‘well underway’ after pandemic delay

By Mindo - 03rd Mar 2021

The annual Healthy Ireland survey is “currently well underway” and expected to be published in the final quarter of this year, this newspaper has learned. In May 2020, the Medical Independent (MI) reported that work on the sixth annual survey had ceased due to Covid-19 restrictions.
However, work on a new survey commenced in November 2020 after a decision was made to switch from face-to-face to telephone interviews.

A Department of Health spokesperson told MI there had been no change in the contract with Ipsos-MRBI, which is conducting the current survey.

“The contract provides for three-to-four surveys to be carried out, depending on whether the option to extend for a year is availed of,” said
the spokesperson.

“The methodological adaptations carried out in order to comply with necessary Covid-19 pandemic restrictions have been mutually agreed between the Department and Ipsos-MRBI as per provisions for same in the contract.”

“The switch to phone has required necessary changes to both the content and length of the questionnaire.”

The annual survey is intended to provide an up-to-date picture of the health of the nation and reports on many lifestyle behaviours, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, active travel, diet and nutrition, health service utilisation patterns, mental health, and sexual health.

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