The online National Study of Health and Relationships (Natsal) 2023
About the online study
The online National Study of Health and Relationships (Natsal) is an important study that helps those working in health care to build up a picture of life in Britain and how it’s changing. It allows them to make better decisions about public health policy, practice and research.
Natsal has taken place every 10 years since 1990 and is one of the largest studies of its kind in the world. So far, over 45,000 people have taken part in Natsal.
The study is conducted by NatCen Social Research (NatCen), University College London (UCL), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the University of Glasgow.
It is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The study has been reviewed by an independent group of people called a Research Ethics Committee, to protect your safety, rights, wellbeing and dignity. This study has been given ethical approval by the East Midlands-Leicester South Research Ethics Committee (Reference no no.20/EM/0025).
Why take part?
A token of our appreciation
As a token of appreciation for taking part in the online study all participants are offered a £10 gift card. Additionally, a £10 gift card will be given to everyone who provides a urine sample or vaginal swab samples.
How Natsal has made a difference
The results from Natsal are used by doctors, policy makers and scientists. The first Natsal survey, in 1990, helped us to understand the spread of HIV in Britain and how best to stop it spreading further. More recently, the findings have helped plan health services like the National Chlamydia Screening programme and the HPV vaccination programme. The results are also used in health education programmes such as through teaching sex and relationship education in schools.
A little time to make a big difference
We’re not asking for money, just that you spare a little time to share your thoughts and opinions. We know your time is precious, but our work really does make a difference. We help government and charities to make the right decisions about the big issues.
We would like you to take part in an online survey about your health and relationships. This will take around 30 minutes and you can answer as many or as few questions as you like. Please refer to your advance letter and/or email for more information.
The questionnaire covers a range of topics including relationships, experiences and attitudes towards topics relating to sex. And don’t worry – you don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to, you can just skip on to the next one.
You don’t need any special knowledge, we just want to hear about your daily life and what you think.
Our pledge to you
We respect your wishes
Taking part is voluntary and you do not have to answer any questions you don’t want to. Just select prefer not to say and move on to the next question.
We answer your questions
Our freephone team will be happy to answer any questions you have about the study which aren’t covered here. Their number is 0800 652 4569.
We guard your privacy
We will treat the information you give us in the strictest confidence under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). The results collected are used for research purposes only. You will never receive any junk mail as a result of speaking to us. We never pass on your details to other organisations for commercial purposes.
Why have I been chosen?
It is important that our surveys reflect life in Britain today, so we have invited people from the NatCen Opinion Panel to take part. The NatCen Opinion Panel includes thousands of people from across the UK who share their experiences and opinions on a variety of important topics. You have been invited to take part in Natsal as you previously took part in the British Social Attitudes survey and agreed to be contacted about research in the future, providing your contact details.
For further information about the NatCen Opinion Panel visit: natcen.ac.uk/panel.
What we’ve found out
The Natsal surveys are among the largest surveys of sexual behaviour in the world and have provided evidence for policy makers and researchers for over 25 years.
To find out more about what the surveys have found watch the video below.
Additionally, you can visit the website link below which has further information about Natsal and its findings.
We hope this webpage answers the questions you may have and that it shows the importance of the study.
In this privacy notice, we explain the legal basis for data processing, who will have access to your personal data, how your data will be used, stored and deleted, and who you can contact with a query or a complaint.
Study information leaflet for participants
Urine sample information leaflet
Vaginal sample leaflet
Data linkage information leaflet
Data linkage flow chart
This information sheet provides you with some telephone numbers and services which you may find useful.