COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey

The COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey provided information about how New Zealanders have been impacted by COVID-19. It has now closed.

Last updated: 30 September 2020

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Purpose

The purpose of the COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey was to support the government’s response to COVID-19.

It was designed to provide regular monitoring and reporting on key areas of interest such as people's:

  • health and wellbeing
  • understanding and compliance of the Alert Level rules
  • financial impacts of COVID-19.

Results have been used to understand what additional support and information New Zealanders need around COVID-19.


Details

The survey started on 30 March 2020, 4 days after New Zealand moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 4, and closed on 27 September 2020.

Every day nearly 300 people, aged 15 years and above, completed a 10−15 minute phone interview. A team from CBG Health Research Limited interviewed people using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI).

Due to the stability of results, and the ability to recommence face-to-face surveying, the New Zealand Health Survey restarted, and the COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey closed.

The surveying for the 2020/21 New Zealand Health Survey began on 4 September 2020 and key questions were transferred from the COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey. Interim results for key indicators in the 2020/21 New Zealand Health Survey will be released once a suitable sample size has been reached.

Sample

The COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey interviewed people who had previously taken part in the New Zealand Health Survey and consented to participating in future research. The New Zealand Health Survey sample was selected using a stratified, multi-stage sampling design. 

On 13 July 2020, a second wave of surveying started where people who previously took part in the COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey were invited to complete the survey again about 15 weeks after they first completed it. This will enable longitudinal analysis, measuring how an individual’s responses have changed over time, while still providing weekly key results for the overall population.

There are some limitations to the sample used, such as small numbers of Asian and Pacific respondents. It’s also possible that people who agree to participate in the COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey would answer the survey questions differently to people who decline to participate. The survey is conducted in English so only respondents who can speak English are able to participate.

Questionnaire

The questionnaire was developed by the Ministry of Health and CBG Health Research Limited. Many of the survey questions use a recall period of 7 days which enabled weekly reporting and monitoring of changes at a total level. Some survey questions were added and changed after the survey started, so for these questions data is not available for the whole survey period.

Read the questionnaire:


Analysis and reporting

The weekly report summarises the results for the most recent week and trends over time. The results have been weighted to be representative of the New Zealand adult population, using census data on distributions of ethnicity, age, sex and deprivation.

The weekly results are provisional and should be used with caution. To enable sharing of timely and relevant information, the data cleaning and quality assurance processes have not yet been fully completed. These results may therefore need to be revised in the future. 

Where possible and appropriate, comparisons with the 2018/19 New Zealand Health Survey have been made. These comparisons are indicative only because there are differences in methodology and survey questions.

The survey is now closed and a complete dataset is being prepared. More detailed results will be released later showing results for different demographic groups (eg, by gender, ethnicity, age and neighbourhood deprivation).


Final weekly report

This is the final weekly report that will be released from the COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey, but some ad hoc reporting will continue.

Key findings from the 23rd week of surveying (31 August–6 September 2020) include:

  • most respondents continue to find the current Alert Level rules clear (97%) and easy to follow (98%)
  • most (89%) see themselves as in good health
  • 76 percent are satisfied with life these days
  • 9 percent experienced anxiety or depression symptoms in the past week
  • 21 percent felt lonely or isolated to some extent in the past week
  • 9 percent felt stressed about leaving home
  • 28 percent felt nervous when they thought about current circumstances
  • 52 percent were worried about the COVID-19 information from their main source
  • 9 percent have struggled to pay basic living costs, such as for food or accommodation, in the past week.

Read the full report:

Previous weekly report

A previous report, for the 22nd week of surveying (24–30 August 2020), includes a comparison of results for those in Alert Levels 2 and 3.

Read the report for week 22:


Contact

If you have any queries about the COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey, please email [email protected].


Related information

COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Survey — Information for participants 

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