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National Study of Health and Wellbeing

Also known as the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, this survey runs every 7 years. Find out more about the survey.

2014 survey report - this was published on 29 September 2016.

About the survey

The National Study of Health and Wellbeing, also known as the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS), runs every 7 years. Since 1993, it's been finding out how everyday stresses, strains and joys affect the health of people living in England.

The 2014 survey was the fourth in this series of surveys and aimed to interview around 7,500 adults aged 16 and over from across England. The survey findings will inform and improve local and national planning for health and support services.


In 2016 we ran a consultation exercise to get feedback from users on the publication and statistics. The findings were published in our icon survey consultation report [647.47KB] . You can also read about the icon details of the consultation [229.5KB]

Why we do this survey

Data from this survey helps doctors and other health professionals get a clearer picture of the nation's health and wellbeing. It gives them the information to make the right choices for the future. This survey report will provide detailed information and analyses on the prevalence of both treated and untreated psychiatric disorders in the adult population (aged 16 and over).

Organisations using the survey data include central government departments and local government, as well as researchers and third-sector organisations. Data is used in policy development, in planning services and in monitoring trends and changes in the nation's health and wellbeing.

Examples of how data from the survey has been used include:

  • informing the development of the government's 'No Health Without Mental Health' mental health strategy
  • development of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme
  • informing national policy, including the National Suicide Prevention Strategy and the Department of Health's responding effectively to violence and abuse and approach to autism policies

Managing the survey

The survey is being carried out by NatCen Social Research on behalf of NHS Digital. It's funded by the Department of Health.

Survey review

This survey has been reviewed by an independent Research Ethics Committee, to protect the safety, rights, wellbeing and dignity of those taking part. The Survey of Health and Wellbeing for 2014 was given a favourable opinion by the West London REC (Reference no 14/LO/0411).


We have chosen addresses at random, which means that every address in England has an equal chance of being included in the survey. This ensures that we get a truly representative picture of everyone living in England.

What the survey involves

If you've received a letter asking you to take part, one of our interviewers will soon call at your home to arrange an interview at a time that suits you. The interview itself is relaxed. There's nothing to prepare and you can skip any questions you don't want to answer.

Data collected

The survey includes information on:

  • wellbeing
  • disability
  • physical health
  • pain
  • lifestyle behaviours
  • work and stress
  • life events 


The answers

The answers from the questionnaire are put together with the answers collected from thousands of other people across England and the survey findings are published in our publications section. The findings will not identify anyone who took part in the survey. 

Those who take part in the survey will never receive any junk mail as a result of speaking to us. We never pass on respondents' details to other organisations for commercial purposes.

The survey data

Data collected by the Health Survey for England will be held by NatCen Social Research and NHS Digital.

This data will never be presented in a form that can reveal any personal information that could be used to identify individuals. An anonymised copy of the dataset will be made available on the UK Data Service Catalogue, for the purposes of not-for-profit research, teaching or personal educational development. The UK Data Service is home to the UK's largest collection of digital social and economic research data. The data made available by the UK Data Service is subject to the NHS anonymisation standard.

We may also share more detailed data with approved researchers under a Data Sharing Agreement, following our independent scrutiny process for external data releases. This information will be used for statistical and research purposes only and individuals will not be identified.

Survey datasets

2014 survey dataset

We are currently looking at making the 2014 dataset available for research purposes, whilst ensuring respondent confidentiality is protected. We recognise the high level of interest in the survey dataset and are working to try and ensure arrangements are put in place at the earliest opportunity.

We've recently reviewed how we manage access to survey datasets, and we've taken advice from experts at the Office of National Statistics. Additional disclosure control measures are being applied to enable the dataset to be made available through the UK Data Service. These control measures include:

  • users to inform NHS Digital what the data will be used for and any outputs that will be produced
  • users to confirm who will have access to the datasets
  • users to confirm they meet the required security standards for data storage

A version of the dataset has been transferred to the UK Data Service and will be made available for researchers to apply for soon, subject to the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD) recommending approval of the proposed terms and conditions for release.

Find out icon what data is available [126.37KB] .

Researchers will need to apply for access to the data, and these applications will be reviewed by us. If you have any questions, please contact or

Older datasets

In addition to the reports, datasets for the 2007, 2000 and 1993 surveys are available in the UK Data Services Catalogue.

2007 and 2000 surveys

The 2007 report and key findings are available in our publication catalogue.

The report from the 2000 survey is available on the Office for National Statistics archive

The APMS steering group

The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey has a steering group which has steered the design, development, implementation and delivery of the survey. The role includes:

  • providing direction and recommendations on priorities relating to the APMS
  • considering representations in relation to the needs of data users
  • considering, agreeing and approving changes in data to be collected, methodology, questionnaires, sample design, processing and presentation of results

Membership of the Steering Group includes representatives from NHS Digital, the Department of Health (DH), Public Health England (PHE), NHS England, the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, the Wellbeing Programme, the Mental Health Foundation and London School of Economics, as well as NatCen Social Research (NatCen) and the University of Leicester, who are the contractors responsible for delivering the survey.

Autism statistics

The autism statistics in our latest survey were labelled as experimental. This was to allow for further work to be undertaken to get wider assurance on whether these statistics meet the overall quality standards necessary for the Office for Statistics Regulation to designate them as national statistics.

We plan to use the Indicator and Methodology Assurance Service (IMAS) to review the autism statistics against specific quality criteria. IMAS brings together statistical, methodological and data experts from arms length bodies (such as Public Health England and NHS England) and academia, along with independent experts (such as clinicians and epidemiologists).

The statistics will be assessed to ensure they are fit for purpose, based on good data and that robust statistical methodology has been used in their development. The review will also explore existing administrative data and whether these might be of use in the production, development or validation of the autism estimates.

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