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

Wednesday. March 7, 2012

Comprehensive Survey Measures Community Health and Well-Being

PHILADELPHIA – This spring, Public Health Management Corporation’s Community Health Data Base (CHDB) conducts its 13th Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, a major regional telephone survey examining the health, well-being and healthcare experiences of residents of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.  The survey provides a unique population-based resource for Southeastern Pennsylvania. More than 350 non-profits, hospitals, academic institutions, government agencies and other organizations use its data to plan and sustain public health initiatives, to advocate for programs that support health, and to better understand the factors that influence the health of adults and children throughout our region.

The first Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey was conducted in 1983, and since 1994 the survey has been conducted every two years across the five-county region.   While every individual’s responses are kept confidential, the data are used together to examine patterns and trends in neighborhoods and communities across Southeastern Pennsylvania.  This year’s survey will address many of the topics covered in previous years, providing trend data on the region’s progress in the areas of obesity, physical activity, tobacco use, access to care, and more.  In addition, the 2012 survey will again cover some of the new topics introduced in the 2010 survey, such as gambling, addiction, and disability status.  The 2012 survey will also cover other emerging public health issues.

Special Features of the 2012 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey

Historically, most telephone surveys have been conducted with individuals on landline telephones; however, a growing population of adults is available only by cellular phones.  Beginning in 2008, CHDB has been contacting respondents on cell phones. “In our 2012 survey, we’re proud to announce that one in five respondents will be reached on cell phones,” says Francine Axler, CHDB director.  “Increasing our cell phone sample ensures that we capture the views and experiences of all of our neighbors.”

Focus on Health Care Experiences and Access to Health Care

Each survey year, CHDB staff work with a network of partners to determine the topics that are most important to the region.  In 2012, as health care reform continues to roll out, CHDB will focus on understanding access to care and the health care experiences of adults and children in communities throughout the region.   The 2012 survey will examine health insurance coverage and highlight the experiences of the uninsured.  Additionally, the survey data will describe health care experience, addressing questions like: 

·         Does lack of transportation keep Southeastern Pennsylvanians from getting medical care? 

·         Can they afford their healthcare visits and prescriptions? 

·         What types of places do residents visit for medical care?

These questions are among the more than 200 that will be included in the survey, which will continue to address screenings, diagnoses, neighborhood concerns, safety, health behaviors and more. For information on becoming a CHDB member or affiliate, with special access to the data, please call 215.985.2548.

Contact: Nikki Reen (267.295.3859 or