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Image: Health Surveys. Source: © RKI

Health surveys

The tasks of the Robert Koch Institute include the continuous collection of data on the health of the population resident in Germany. Under the title health monitoring, the institute therefore regularly conducts the studies KiGGS, DEGS and GEDA. In addition, a large number of other health studies have been and continue to be conducted at the institute.

The health monitoring studies provide nationwide representative health information, both on children and adolescents and on adults. They are coordinated with one another in terms of concepts (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 process data of health insurance companies. They supply extensive and reliable data on:

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

The studies enable us to gain information on developments in the health situation of the population in Germany 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 federal health reporting at the Robert Koch Institute.

The results are used in health policy to enable scientifically sound decisions to be made. They allow the development of targeted measures for healthcare and prevention. The continuous collection of data makes an evaluation of the effects of health policy measures possible.

In addition, the data is made available to science 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 this level.

Date: 13.11.2018