European Health Interview Survey 2008 (HIS 2008)
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European Health Interview Survey 2008 (HIS 2008)

Contact Person: Dr Kathleen England​



In 2002 Malta implemented its first National Health Interview Survey. The survey was conducted using internationally accepted and validated questionnaire techniques as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and EUROSTAT. The aim of the survey was to provide a nation-wide picture of the burden of illness in the population and to investigate the knowledge and behaviours of the Maltese population regarding their health.
Driven by the ever growing need for EU wide comparable data, the European statistical body, EUROSTAT launched the first wave of the European Health Interview Survey in 2006 offering funding to support member states to implement the standardised EHIS tool in their countries. Malta made use of the funding opportunities offered by the EU commission and in 2008 implemented the European Health Interview Survey amongst the population of 15 year olds and over. So far 18 member states have completed their first wave of the EHIS and an evaluation of the tool is under way. It is envisioned that the EHIS will be harmonised across all EU member states and conducted every 5 years.
The 2008 EHIS covered the same broad areas that were covered in the NHIS conducted in 2002, though changes have been made to some of the questions following the 2002 survey. To download copies of the questionnaires in English and Maltese in pdf format, press on the links below. 

Questionnaire in Maltese

Dr. Neville Calleja
Mr. Arthur Camilleri
Ms. Audrey Galea
Dott.ssa Veronica Ellul
Ms. Dorothy Gauci
Dr. Antonella Grima
Mr. Hans-Joerg Rosengart
Ms. Sabine Golke
Ms. Cecilia Mangion
Mr. Stephen Buhagiar
Ms. Maryanne Magro
Ms. Marie Lou Muscat
Ms. Mary Anne Mallia
Ms. Rita Micallef
Ms. Josephine Demicoli
Mr. Louis Xuereb

The European Health Interview Survey was conducted at a national level involving a randomly selected sample of 5,500 individuals aged 15 years and over currently resident in the Maltese Islands. The sample was drawn from a population register provided by the National Statistics Office and was stratified by age, gender and locality. Field testing on a random sample of 430 individuals was carried out before the fieldwork began and 310 were successful. Due to the general elections being held in March of 2008, the EHIS fieldwork started in June rather than in March, as was originally planned. A response rate of 72% was reached.
Information for the survey was collected via two questionnaires. These questionnaires, although based on those already used in several surveys performed in other European countries, were adapted to the local situation highlighting the more important health issues in Malta. Every effort was made to strike a balance between comprehensiveness and length of questionnaire. The first longer questionnaire was completed by a face to face interview and the second, shorter questionnaire, which contains more sensitive topics, was filled in by the interviewee. Questionnaires were available in both Maltese and English for the convenience of the interviewee.
Trained interviewers administered the questionnaires. All randomly selected interviewees first received a letter of introduction from the Department of Health Information and Research. This was followed by the interviewers phoning them to arrange a convenient appointment to visit them at their home. The interviewers explained to the interviewee and guardian (when the interviewee was below 18 years of age) the objective of the survey and then carried out the face to face interview. The self-completed questionnaire was delivered, completed and collected at the end of the encounter. The interviews and questionnaires were held and kept in complete confidentiality.
To encourage the best possible co-operation from interviewees several advertisements were organised including billboards and advertisements published in local Maltese and English newspapers. Each participant was given a gift pack as an acknowledgement for their participation and they were also eligible for participation in a lottery offering several prizes which were drawn at the end of the survey. These gifts were kindly offered by our sponsors (see below).

The Department would like to thank our sponsors who offered their support and gifts to aid the success of the survey. These include our main sponsors: Little People/Home Trends; Europharma Ltd.; Alf Mizzi & Sons (Marketing Group) and Maitre Prunille SA (Zammit & Cachia Co. Ltd).

We also would like to thank: Airmalta; CAA, Chemimart Group; Corinthia Group of Companies; Tip Top Ltd; St Lucia Confectionary; Calypso Hotel; Mellieha Holiday Centre Ltd. (Danish Village); JB Stores Limited; Conucopia Hotel; Jokate Group of Companies Ltd; Cynergi Health & Fitness Club; Azzopardi Fisheries; Unicare Ltd; Bristow Potteries Limited; Flora – M & Z (Marketing) Ltd; Go Mobile; Holistic Technologies Limited; Klikk Computer Store; Merlin Library; Digital Planet Ltd.; Michael & Guy; Vernon’s; A. Falzon Energy Projects; Shiva’s Indian Cuisine; Longbow: Kekoo A. Modi; The Plaza Hotel; The Victoria Hotel; Petrolea Ltd; Ramis; Eden Leisure’s Superbowl; Topaz Hotel.


Thematic reports have been compiled from the 2008 EHIS survey and can be downloaded in pdf format by pressing on the links below: