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GEDA – German Health Update

Project manager: Dr. Cornelia Lange (Unit 24)

The Robert Koch Institute regularly conducts health interview surveys as a part of its nationwide health monitoring. These studies complement other surveys such as DEGS or KiGGS. They enable the government to respond quickly and flexibly in the field of health policy. Through the continuous monitoring of the health of the population, changes over time can be observed and effects of health policy measures detected.

The Robert Koch Institute's current health interview survey, with a methodological focus, began in January 2014. People living in 100 selected communities, aged 18 and over, are invited to take part. The field phase will be finished by June 2014. For the first time, the questionnaire of the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) is integrated in the survey.

The survey focuses on the following subjects:

  • subjective health
  • prevalence of diseases
  • accidents
  • mental health
  • functional limitations
  • health-related behaviour, e.g. utilization of vaccinations, diet, physical activities
  • risk factors, e.g. alcohol consumption, smoking
  • socio-demographic characteristics such as education, occupational status, migration background.


Past GEDA surveys at RKI

To date, three waves of GEDA have been completed.

Time periodParticipants aged 18 +Regional fundingSupplements
GEDA09*2008-200921,262Brandenburg, SaarlandGastro-intestinal diseases, organ donation, behavioral prevention and counseling programmes
GEDA10*2009-201022,050SaarlandInjuries, utilization of cancer screening programmes
GEDA12*2012-201319,294Brandenburg, Saarland, city of Frankfurt am MainMeasles and measles vaccination, informal care, noise pollution

*Mode: CATI = Computer Assisted Telephone Interview

Uses of Data

The collected data is included in different publications: For example, in publications by Federal Health Reporting (GBE). These are available online and can be downloaded free of charge.

The results can also be retrieved using the online database of the Federal Statistical Office. In this database the information is provided in the form of individually tailored tables, clear graphics, understandable texts and precise definitions.

In addition, the collected data are used for scientific analysis, which are published in scientific journals.

Protection of Privacy

The Robert Koch Institute strictly observes the Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) when collecting data. Germany's federal and regional data-protection commissioners have been informed about the surveys and declared they have no objections relating to data privacy. All data are collected and all evaluations are conducted anonymously.

The survey data are not connected with either the respondent's telephone number or his/her name or address. After finishing field work, all information about the respondent’s identity have been deleted. All commercial use of data is excluded, and no data are passed on to insurance companies, health insurance funds, government agencies, etc. Similarly, no telephone numbers are passed on to third parties.

Date: 04.12.2014