contact us | site map | PHMC Home
Community Health Data Base
An Information Service of the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation

New Data on the Way from the 2012 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey
Tuesday. January 8, 2013


The Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) Household Health Survey, a long-standing survey of Public Health Management Corporation’s Community Health Data Base (CHDB), is used to collect timely information about the health and wellbeing of adults, children, and older adults in the five county SEPA region of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.


The Household Health Survey has been conducted since 1983 and every other year since 1994, with our most recent survey conducted in 2012. Core health indicators such as insurance status, having a regular source of healthcare, smoking, and health screenings, have been collected in the survey overtime, allowing for the tracking of trends. However, in response to changes in health and healthcare, both locally and nationally, new questions were added to the 2012 Household Health Survey, some of which are highlighted below. Adapting to changes in health issues, the addition of timely topics keeps the Household Health Survey dynamic and responsive.


Walk-in Retail Clinics

  • With the rise of retail walk-in clinics across the county, the 2012 survey was used to ask adults about the use of such clinics within the past year.
  • The survey also assessed other healthcare choices adults would have made if a retail clinic were not available.


  • While the survey continues to collect information about chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure, for the first time, the 2012 survey also asked adults about whether they have pain lasting six months or more.

Perceptions of Cigarette Smoke

  • Over the years, the survey has been used to collect a battery of smoking-related information; however, a new question was included in the 2012 survey to assess adults’ perceptions as to whether smoke from other people’s cigarettes is harmful to them.

Sedentary Lifestyle Behaviors

  • In the age of technology, with a wider selection of personal gadgetry available, there continues to be much attention paid to sedentary lifestyle behaviors. In addition to containing questions about physical activity, the 2012 Household Health Survey was used to gauge the average number of hours that adults, on a typical day, watched TV as well as used computers during their leisure time.

Parks and Other Outdoor Space

  • For the first time, the survey included a question about whether adults have a neighborhood park or other outdoor space they are comfortable visiting during the day.


  • While previous surveys have included a question about whether adults are providing care to older adults who have a long-term illness or disability, the 2012 survey also included a question assessing whether adults of any age are providing regular care or assistance to someone who has a long-term illness or disability.

Children’s Health Information

  • The 2012 survey contained a question assessing the primary source where caregivers go to get information about children’s health such as from physicians or other healthcare professionals, friends or family, or the internet.

Children’s Sedentary Lifestyle Behaviors

  • Similar to the adult portion of the survey, the child survey included two questions about the average number of hours that children, on a typical day, watched TV as well as used computers outside of their school work.

Children’s Safety in Community

  • With children’s safety on the minds of many parents and caregivers, the 2012 survey included a question to assess how often caregivers feel children were safe in their community or neighborhood.

Early Childhood Education

  • For those children under six years of age, a new question included in the survey assessed how many hours per week children spend in an early education setting such as pre-school or Head Start.

New 2012 Household Health Survey data will be released in early February, and please stay tuned for details about our upcoming Data Release Party!


To download this article as a PDF, click here.


For more information, please contact Nicole Dreisbach at

< back