Key messages

  • The Victorian Population Health Survey is conducted annually to measure and report on the health status of the Victorian population. 
  • The survey monitors trends over time for risk factors and self-reported outcomes.
  • Survey findings are used to inform evidence-based policy development and strategic planning across the Department and wider community. 

The Victorian Population Health Survey has been conducted each year since 2001 and is based on a sample of adults aged 18 years and over, randomly selected from households from each of the eight health regions of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The survey was administered using computer-assisted telephone interviews. In 2008, 2011-12 and 2014, the sample size was expanded to approximately 34,000 participants to allow for the reporting of analysed data at the local government area level. Please refer to the Methods section of the report for a more detailed description of the methods.

Due to the extensive nature of reporting the findings from the Victorian Population Health Survey 2014 the report has been divided, for the first time, into three consecutive reports.

Report 1: Victorian Population Health Survey 2014: Modifiable risk factors contributing to chronic disease

This first report presents the survey’s findings for the modifiable risk factors which contribute to chronic disease in Victoria.

Information is presented on modifiable risk factors which include physical inactivity, smoking prevalence, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable intake, intake of sugar-sweetened drinks, overweight and obesity, hypertension and psychological distress.  A separate snapshot of the key health indicators from the report for each local government area is also provided.

Report 2: Victorian Population Health Survey 2014: Health and wellbeing, chronic conditions, screening and eye health

The content of this report includes information on self-reported health and wellbeing, chronic disease prevalence, biomedical checks and screening and eye health in Victoria.

Health and wellbeing explores self-reported health status and satisfaction with life. Chronic disease prevalence focuses on the following: heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, arthritis, depression or anxiety and diabetes. Biomedical checks and screening includes visits to general practitioners, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose testing, as well as participation in cancer screening. The final chapter in the report presents the prevalence of selected eye diseases, wearing of glasses and contact lenses, difficulties with vision limiting activities of daily life and contact with health professionals.

A separate snapshot of key health indicators for each local government area is also provided.

Report 3: Inequalities in the social determinants of health and what it means for the health of Victorians: findings from the 2014 Victorian Population Health Survey

This report investigates inequalities in the social determinants of health and how these impact on the health of Victorians, mainly focusing on the social determinants referred to collectively as ‘social capital’. Social capital is defined as the ‘resources that are accessed by individuals as a result of their membership of a network or a group’ (Berkman, Kawachi et al. 2014).

Research shows that higher levels of social capital are associated with better health outcomes and this report explores the link between social capital and health. We discuss the findings in the context of the current international literature.