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National Health Interview Survey 2002 (HIS 2002)


​Contact Person: Dr Kathleen England​



Epidemiological information on health status and the factors affecting health is valuable from a public health perspective. It is essential to have a good knowledge base on those conditions that are diagnosed and treated outside hospital or that never directly necessitate hospital contact or lead to death. Health interview surveys, used in several countries, are designed to obtain valuable information regarding the nation’s health that cannot be obtained from routinely collected information such as national registries. 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.
The first national health interview survey focused on the following areas:                                                                 

  • Sociodemographic characteristics 
  • Anthropometric measurements
  • Self perceived health 
  • Mental Health 
  • Chronic conditions and symptoms 
  • Short term disability/Activity limitations 
  • Long term disability 
  • Tobacco use 
  • Alcohol use 
  • Diet 
  • Physical activity 
  • Knowledge/attitudes about healthy lifestyles 
  • Accidents 
  • Hospitalisation 
  • GP/Specialist/Dentist encounters 
  • Consumption of medicines 
  • Health promotion and disease prevention 
  • Dental health 
  • Health insurance and health expenditure 
  • Quality of life

Dr. Renzo Pace Asciak
Dr. Miriam Dalmas
Dr. Miriam Gatt
Dr. Natasha Azzopardi Muscat
Dr. Neville Calleja
Ms. Amanda Saliba

The HIS was conducted at a national level on a randomly selected sample of 5510 individuals aged 16 and over currently resident in the Maltese Islands. The sample was drawn from a population register and was stratified by age, gender and locality to ensure as representative a sample as possible. No replacement of respondents was allowed during fieldwork. Persons who migrated, were abroad during the survey period or had died were excluded. Advertisements and billboards were released before the fieldwork to promote the survey amongst the general population and to encourage selected respondents to participate. The fieldwork started in March of 2002. Respondents were interviewed in their homes or where otherwise specified, by trained interviewers. Sensitive questions on topics such as drug use, alcohol consumption and sexual health were placed in a self-completed questionnaire which was filled in by the respondents. The response rate for this survey was 80%.


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: Tip Top; The Flora Project (Flora Light Margerine); Vichy (Jolico Ltd) and Maitre Prunille (Zammit and Cachia Ltd).
We also would like to thank: Middlesea Group; Maltacom; Home Direct; JM Supplies Ltd; Elmo Insurance; Island Hotels; Corinthia Group of Companies; Chemimart Ltd; Sunkist Light Fruit Juices and San Michel Table Water (Simonds Farsons Cisk Ltd); St. James Hospital; Wembley Stores; Flamingo Ltd; Philip Toledo Ltd; Melita Cable; Go Mobile; Azzopardi Fisheries; Tug Malta; George Borg Ltd; Petrolea Ltd; MSM Investments Ltd; Calmarine Services Ltd; Cotor Services Ltd; Reda Pump Co. Ltd; Arrowswift Contacts Ltd and Kishna.


Electronic versions of two reports complied from the HIS 2002 can be downloaded in pdf format by pressing on the links below.

The First National Health Interview Survey: Summary Statistics

Report of statistics on food habits from the Maltese First National Health Interview Survey (HIS)