National Study of Health and Relationships (Natsal) 2022-23
About the study
The 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 study all participants are offered a £20 gift card. Additionally, a £5 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
It’s easy to say no to our interviewers, but we hope you don’t. 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.
One of our interviewers will visit in the next week or so. So that you know who they are, all of our interviewers carry photo ID with our logo on it. We understand that you may be busy, so we’ll organise the interview at a time that suits you.
Taking part involves an interviewer asking the selected participant some questions about their health and relationships. An interviewer will conduct the study either face-to-face or by telephone, depending on government guidelines and your preference.
The interviewer will ask you to complete the more personal questions by yourself, by handing over the laptop to you (if you are interviewed face-to-face) or by directing you to the questions online (if you are interviewed by telephone).
We will ask you about 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, we can just skip on to the next one.
No need to prepare
There’s no need to prepare for the interview. You don’t need any special knowledge, we just want to hear about your daily life and what you think. Most people agree to be interviewed and enjoy taking part.
Why have I been chosen?
Why you’re so important to us
We’ve chosen your address at random to make sure we get a truly representative picture of everyone in Britain. Your address can’t be replaced by anyone else, as this would bias the results.
We want to hear from everyone
It’s really important to us and our clients that our research represents the views of everyone living in Britain. Whether you’re old or young, rich or poor, living in Land’s End or John O’Groats, we value your opinion.
Whoever you are, whatever you think, your opinion is important to us. Taking part is an opportunity to tell influential people who make the decisions in government and charities what you really think.
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 please click this link for a video.
Additionally, you can visit the website link below which has further information about Natsal and its findings.
We understand you may have some questions about our credentials and how we deal with personal information. Click here to read our privacy notice.
Study information leaflet for participants
During the survey we use showcards for questions with multiple response options or if they are more sensitive questions to make the interview better for you.
Young person helplines leaflet
Data linkage flow chart
As part of the survey we ask people whether they would be willing to link their survey responses to their health, education and/or administrative records. This data linkage flow chart shows you how we link your survey responses to your records.
Data linkage information leaflet
As part of the survey we ask people whether they would be willing to link their survey responses to their health, education and/or administrative records.
Urine sample information leaflet
Vaginal sample information leaflet
Biological sample instructions
Access the instructions on how to collect a biological sample.
Urine sample instructions
If you agreed to provide a urine sample, please click the link below to view your instructions on how to collect and post your sample.
Vaginal sample instructions
If you agreed to provide a vaginal sample, please click the link below to view your instructions on how to collect and post your sample.