Scottish Health Survey 2024 Development Survey

The Scottish Health Survey is an annual survey of around 7,000 people in Scotland.

The Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) is an annual survey of around 7,000 people in Scotland. It is carried out for the Scottish Government by The Scottish Centre for Social Research (ScotCen).

About the study

Information from the Scottish Health Survey is used to develop ways of improving people's health and to plan the services people need at all times of ill health. The 2024 survey will update the information collected in previous surveys. 

Why take part?

By taking part in SHeS, you are helping to provide a better understanding of the health and lifestyles of people in Scotland. The information you provide will help the survey team to test the questionnaire and ensure that the survey processes are ready for the full survey in 2024. 

The benefits from the survey will be indirect and, in due course, they will come from any improvements in health and in health services in Scotland which result from the survey. 

If you take part, you will also receive a high-street voucher as a thank you. 

What will taking part involve? 

An interviewer from ScotCen will visit your address. They will explain more about the study and arrange a convenient time for you and other members of your household to take part. This could be at the time of the interviewer's visit or at another time that is more convenient for you. The interviewer will check that you are happy to take part and the complete the questionnaire with you in your home. 

We would like to interview every adult (aged 16 and over) who lives in your household and if there are any children aged 0-15, we can interview two of them. Parents or guardians will answer questioned on behalf of children aged under 13. 

There will be questions about your general health and wellbeing, eating habits, physical activity, smoking and drinking. There are some questions about diseases of the heart, lungs and chest, and questions to help understand the impact of COVID-19 on you and your health. If you agree, the interviewer will take your height and weight measurements. 

Some personal details such as age, sex and employment are also included to help us interpret the information. If you do not wish to answer any of the questions, then you do not have to. 

Some respondents will also be selected for additional measurements of blood pressure, waist circumference and asked to provide a saliva sample to assess levels of second-hand smoke. Adults ages 16 and over will be invited to complete two dietary recalls for the Intake24 module for which they will receive an additional high-street voucher and personalised dietary feedback. 

Why have I been selected to take part?

We chose your address at random from the Postcode Address File. This file is held by the Post Office and is available to the public. 

What will happen to any information I give?

Your answers are treated with care and with full respect for your privacy in accordance with data protection legislation. The information you provide will be used to test and improve the survey prior to launch and the results of this phase will not be published. 

The study has been looked at by an independent group of people called a Research Ethics Committee, to protect your safety, rights, wellbeing and dignity. This study has been given a favourable opinion by Wales REC 3 on behalf of the NHS. The Public Benefit and Privacy Panel has reviewed the process for linkage of this survey data with other information from the NHS health records. 

To increase the value of the information provided, survey answers for SHeS are linked to answers from the NHS records, unless participants opt out. However, as this survey is part of the development phase of the Scottish Health Survey 2024, if you take part in the survey, no information will be linked to your survey answers. 

For further information on how the information you provide will be used, please see the privacy information on the Scottish Government's website

Contact us 

If you wish to ask any questions or seek further information, please do not hesitate to call free on 0800 652 2704. Alternatively, you can email or find out more on the Scottish Government website