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Community Health Data Base
An Information Service of the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation

PHMC'S 12TH Household Health Survey to be Conducted This Summer!
Monday. June 14, 2010


Attention Southeastern Pennsylvania Residents:
PHMC'S 12TH Household Health Survey to be Conducted This Summer!

Throughout the summer PHMC's Community Health Data Base (CHDB) will be conducting the 12th Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, a major local telephone survey to examine the health and healthcare experiences of Southeastern Pennsylvania residents. The Household Health Survey represents a unique population-based data resource for Southeastern Pennsylvania.  In 1983 the first Household Health Survey (HHS) was conducted in Philadelphia. In 1994 the HHS became biennial and expanded to over 10,000 households within the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.  Interviews are conducted among adults 18 years of age and older. Participating in the survey is free and all responses are kept completely confidential.

New Features of the 2010 Survey

The 2010 SEPA Household Health Survey will include various additions.  These new features have increased the survey's importance and usefulness for health care providers in the region. Over the next few moths, 10,000 households in the SEPA region will be randomly contacted by telephone and asked questions about health screenings, use of health services, health insurance, and personal health behaviors, among other topics.  In 2008 the HHS was one of the first local health surveys to include a cell phone sample.  The 2010 survey will include an even larger and more geographically dispersed sample of 1,000 cell phone interviews across the five counties. This feature represents a break though in collecting telephone-based health data, and presents both challenges and opportunities; the CHDB has been thrilled to be on the forefront of this evolving field within health survey research.

New Topics in the Household Health Survey

The household health survey provides critical information about health status, access and barriers to care, and health behaviors, among other health indicators. This survey enables over 350 nonprofit organizations, local health providers, policy makers, and health planners to assess up-to-date health and social service needs, establish benchmarks, and monitor changes over time for the populations and communities they serve.  The 2010 survey will include new and reoccurring topics areas such as: nutrition and food access, Internet usage, physical activity, beverage consumption, and housing and economic questions.

Abt SRBI, a New York based market research firm, will conduct PHMC's Household Health Survey.  SRBI has conducted the survey since 1996.  The survey will be in the field for approximately ten weeks from June-August.  When the survey is completed, PHMC will make the data available to CHDB Members and Affiliates by December 2010.

Previous Household Health Surveys found:

  • The prevalence of asthma among children in SEPA has increased throughout the decade from 10% in 2000 to 18% in 2008.
  • The number of adults who smoke cigarettes has reduced slightly from 22% in 2000 to 20.4% in 2008.  While there has been a decrease, the percentage exceeds the Healthy People target of 12%.
  • In 2008 nearly 240,000 non-elderly adults (9.8%) did not have any private or public health insurance.  Furthermore, over 39,000 children in SEPA (4.2%) did not have any health insurance.  Insurance coverage varies by race/ethnicity, age, gender, and socioeconomic status.
  • More than one-fourth of adults (25.2%) and children over the age of six (34.7%) in SEPA are obese, exceeding the Healthy People target of 15% of the adult population.
  • Adults in Chester County are the most likely of all adults in Southeastern Pennsylvania to exercise three or more times per week.

Established in 1983, the CHDB is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, William Penn Foundation, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Foundation, Green Tree Community Health Foundation, CIGNA Foundation, Hospitals and Higher Education Facilities Authority, and over 350 participating agencies from the health, government, nonprofit, and academic sectors. In the past decade, the Household Health Survey has been conducted biennially. Key findings from previous years are available at  For more information on becoming a Member or Affiliate of the Community Health Data Base, please contact Francine Axler at 215-985-2521 or by email at

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