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Image: Health Surveys. Source: © RKI

Health surveys

The continuous collection of population health data in Germany is among the central tasks of the Robert Koch Institute. As part of its 'health monitoring' activities, the institute regularly conducts the studies KiGGS, DEGS and GEDA. In addition, numerous other health studies have been and continue to be conducted at the institute.

The health monitoring studies provide nationwide representative health information, on children and adolescents and on adults. They are conceptually coordinated with each other (see table).

Study titleGerman Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and AdolescentsGerman Health Interview and Examination Survey for AdultsGerman Health Update
Study populationChildren, adolescents and young adultsAdultsAdults
Study typeCross-sectional and longitudinal studyCross-sectional and longitudinal studyRepeated cross-sectional studies
Methods of data collectionInterviews and medical examinationsInterviews and medical examinationsInterviews

The studies supplement existing data sources, such as official statistics or health insurance claims data. They supply extensive and reliable data on:

  • The current health situation
  • Health-promoting and risk behaviour
  • Healthcare and prevention
  • Environment and living conditions of different population groups

The studies enable us to gain information on health developments in the German population and on the causes and conditions of changes in health.

The data obtained is used by the Robert Koch Institute for epidemiological research and is incorporated in the federal health reporting process at the Robert Koch Institute.

The results are used to advise health policy and enable evidence-based decisions. They promote the development of targeted measures in healthcare and prevention. The continuous collection of data provides the means to evaluate the effects of health policy measures over time.

In addition, the data is made available to the scientific community as public use files.

In Europe, the Robert Koch Institute health monitoring programme is networked with the relevant institutions of the European Union. In this way, it contributes to improving the data situation at supranational level.

Date: 10.01.2020