The design, contents, operation and the characteristics of the respondents of the 2001 National Health Interview Survey in Taiwan

Yaw Tang Shih, Yung Tai Hung, Hsing Yi Chang*, Jen Pei Liu, Hui Sheng Lin, Ming Cheng Chang, Fong Ching Chang, Chao A. Hsiung, Shang Liang Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: NHIS is a survey to understand the general health of the resident civilian non-institutionalized population in Taiwan. Once the regular survey system is well established, it will provide information in making timely health related policies. Method: This survey incorporated a multi-stage stratified systematic sampling scheme. It first divided 359 townships/districts of Taiwan into 7 strata according to their geographical location and degree of urbanization. Townships or districts in each stratum were selected with selection probability proportional to their sizes (PPS). In each selected township/district, lins (the smallest administrative unit) were selected with PPS. Four households were selected randomly from each selected lin. Each member in the selected household was to be interviewed. Results: Altogether, 6,592 households (26,658 persons) were sampled from the whole Taiwan area. Due to the small population sizes of mountainous areas and off-shore islands, these areas were oversampled. In mountainous areas, another 608 households (2,797 persons) were sampled. In off-shore islands, 432 households (1,954 persons) were sampled. This resulted in equal probability samples. Development of questionnaires was based on the DOH needs of health indicators and the nature and nurture factors affecting health. The final version of questionnaire was composed of 5 parts: questionnaire for household, for individuals older than 12 years, for individuals younger than 12 years, self-administered questionnaire for teenagers between 12 and 19 years, WHO quality of life for adults aged between 20 and 65. Conclusion: This survey was well designed. The demographic characteristics of the samples were consistent with the population. The response rate was 91.1% for households and 94.2% for individuals. The information gathered by this survey was very valuable in designing health related programs and policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-430
Number of pages12
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Demographic characteristics
  • Health
  • Questionnaire Design
  • Sampling Scheme
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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