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Describing and understanding the health of Scotland´s population and the factors that shape it is essential to improving health and reducing inequalities. It enables good design of actions, targeting of resources and assessment of the impact of programmes and policies.
Led by ISD Scotland and NHS Health Scotland, the ScotPHO website brings together information and statistical data on public health from key national organisations. It also has downloadable copies of all ScotPHO publications.
Details of ongoing work to establish a core set of national mental health indicators that can be used to measure changes in the mental health and well-being of Scotland´s population.
NHS Health Scotland currently funds two national surveys:
Find information on these and other surveys particularly relevant to Scottish health on ScotPHO´s survey pages (external link).
Community Health and Well-being Profiles for Scotland (2010) (external link) are available on ScotPHO. Scotland and European Health for All (HfA) Database 2009 (external link). Trends in mortality in Scotland and other parts of post-industrial Europe report (2008) (external link) is published by Glasgow Centre for Population Health.
Download the How much are people in Scotland really drinking? from the ScotPHO website report (external link). Reworked data from the Scottish Health Survey 2003: Revised Alcohol Consumption Estimates (2008).
Briefing on tobacco epidemiology in Scotland describes the size of the problem, trends over time, impact on population sub-groups and what might be done to tackle the issue. Download the Tobacco Atlas of local smoking prevalence from ScotPHO.
The Index of Sustainable Economic Well-being provides more comprehensive measures of social progress. This report gives one such measure for Scotland. The New Economics Foundation (nef) had created an index of sustainable economic wellbeing for the UK which appeared to have advantages over GDP as a measure of real economic progress. Health Scotland’s Public Health Observatory Division therefore commissioned them to create such an index for Scotland.
Investigating the role of benzodiazepines in drug-related mortality: a systematic review undertaken on behalf of The Scottish National Forum on Drug-Related Deaths
Owing to a lack of research on benzodiazepines, the National Forum on Drug-Related Deaths commissioned work addressing why benzodiazepines are common in DRDs and what role they play in such deaths, particularly at the high doses often reported. This report presents the findings of a systematic review of evidence in relation to the use and misuse of benzodiazepines and highlights significant gaps in knowledge.
Pulling in different directions? The impact of economic recovery and continued changes to social security on health and health inequalities in Scotland (external link) presents the latest data on developments in the social security system and changing economic context since 2013 and monitors relevant changes in population health and health inequalities in Scotland.
It also presents findings from a rapid review of the literature to identify whether and which subgroups of the Scottish population have been disproportionately affected by the social security reforms.
Scotland's Mental Health: Children and Young People 2013 (external link) provides the first systematic assessment of mental health and associated contextual factors using the children and young people's indicators.
It presents single point-in-time estimates, using the latest available data at time of analysis, and also, where possible, an analysis of time trends and equalities analysis by age, gender, the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) and urban-rural classification for mental health outcomes and age and gender for the associated contextual factors.
The report shows that at the population level the mental health of children and young people in Scotland has improved or remained broadly stable over the past decade. There are good signs of improvement across the contextual domains. However, it highlights clear inequalities across a range of mental health outcome and contextual indicators, especially for SIMD and age.
Knowledge, Attitudes and Motivations to health, 2010 (external link) This report presents findings from the Knowledge, Attitudes and Motivations to health (KAM) module included in the 2008 and 2009 Scottish Health Survey (SHeS). The KAM module is the successor to the Health Education Population Survey, which ran in two waves annually between 1996 and 2007 (with the exception of three waves which were suspended in 1999-2000). It was intended to monitor progress in the process of achieving change in health behaviours through a health education approach. The KAM module is embedded in Scottish Health Survey so can draw on a much wider pool of information about health-related behaviours, experiences and characteristics, expanding the possibility for analysis and for a robust examination of the links between knowledge, attitudes, motivations and actual behaviour.
Know, feel, do? Health behaviour change in Scotland, 1996 to 2007 (external link)This report provides a high-level assessment of change in adult health behaviours, knowledge and motivations in Scotland between 1996 and 2007. A 12-year span of consistent, comparable data from the Health Education Population Survey (HEPS) is used to examine trends across three main health topics: smoking, physical activity and healthy eating. Summary health scores, which combine the three topics for behaviour, for knowledge and for motivation, are also analysed. We conclude that there was welcome modest improvement in health behaviour, knowledge and motivation in Scotland between 1996 and 2007.
What is known about maternal and infant nutrition in Scotland?This review describes what is known about maternal and infant nutrition in Scotland, using routine data sources wherever possible, to inform the Scottish Government’s development of a strategy to improve maternal and infant nutrition. It also describes the main patterns and trends in maternal and infant nutrition.
Diversity Report This report provides a concise overview of Scotland’s population diversity. It collates and interprets existing data to give a portrait of diversity in the Scottish population in one accessible resource. The most important, recurring, theme for health improvement is the damage done to mental health and wellbeing by the pervasive and insidious effects of personal prejudice, collective discrimination and structural exclusion.
Are people in Scotland becoming more active? Combined results from Scotland’s routine national surveys This report provides an assessment of long term trends (1995-2006) in compliance with the recommendations for physical activity amongst adults aged 16-64 in Scotland. Combining data from the Scottish Health Survey and the Health Education Population Survey, it shows a modest rise in the proportion of men and women doing enough physical activity for their health. The report also describes inequalities in compliance with the recommendations by gender, age and deprivation. It concludes with recommendations for future survey-based monitoring of physical activity in Scotland.
Mental health in Scotland 2009 (external link) is the first comprehensive review of mental health status and context using the indicators developed by NHS Health Scotland. It shows much stability and more improvement than deterioration over the past decade. Substantial inequality is evident by age, sex and deprivation/socio-economic status. Click here for further information on the Mental Health Indicators Programme.
A report on Young Adult Tobacco Smoking shows that prevalence has not decreased sustainably since 1999, that half of young adult smokers are in employment, and that some smaller population groups have very high prevalence rates.
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