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Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) 2022 – Survey Consultation Findings

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Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) 2022 – Survey Consultation Findings


Between 15 April and 8 June 2021, the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) ran a consultation on the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) on behalf of NHS Digital. The consultation aimed to inform the content and outputs of the next survey in the series, which is due to launch in April 2022. It explored what questionnaire content would be most useful to current and potential users, any amendments that could be made to existing content, as well as content that could be removed to free up space. Feedback on the outputs from the survey (e.g. the report, the tables and the dataset) were collected together with suggestions for how to improve these.


Consultation survey

The consultation involved an online public consultation survey. The questionnaire was kept short and participants could skip any items they did not want to answer. It was felt to be important to allow participants to respond to just one or two questions, if that was what they preferred. While the questionnaire included several pre-coded response options and ranking exercises (to encourage people to prioritise), a large number of open-text questions were included allowing people freedom to raise the issues they wanted to. A copy of the questionnaire can be found in Appendix B. For percentages, missing answers have been removed from the base, so all percentages are based on the valid sample for each question unless stated otherwise

Focus groups and interviews 

Focus groups were carried out via Microsoft Teams, lasted about 90 minutes, and were audio-recorded. Each focused on a different set of stakeholders, comprising representatives from

  • government research and policy officials
  • third sector organisations focused on mental health
  • third sector organisations focused on mental health risk factors
  • data analysts
  • academics and health care providers
  • people with lived experience

People with lived experience were recruited via the mental health research recruitment platform Participate run by the charity MQ. A token of appreciation was given for participation in the lived experience focus group only. A copy of the qualitative topics guide is provided in Appendix B.

Guided feedback interviews: were carried out with individuals or pairs of individuals who were:

  • unable to attend one of the focus groups
  • provided detailed information on one specific topic (such as eating disorder), and/or
  • preferred the guided feedback format, for example for reasons of accessibility

Seven guided feedback interviews were conducted with 11 individuals.

Academic Networks: meetings were held with 26 members of the APMS Academic Group to consult on views, and with another pre-existing academic mental health network, attended by nine researchers. Both consultation sessions lasted 90 minutes.

Promoting the consultation

The consultation was widely publicised to known users and potential users of the survey as well as to the wider public and people with lived experience through various means including via

  • NatCen and NHS Digital websites
  • NatCen Twitter and NHS Digital Twitter and Facebook  
  • Health Surveys Programme E-Bulletin
  • APMS Steering Group: Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England, NHS England/Improvement, Kings College London, MIND
  • APMS Academic Group
  • Mental Health Monthly Newsletter (May edition)
  • LinkedIn
  • MQ Research
  • UK Data Service mailing lists (direct mailing to people who have downloaded APMS and/or expressed interest in health surveys and agreed to recontact)
  • Royal Statistical Society Health Statistics mailing list

NatCen and NHS Digital thank everyone who took part in the consultation and for their helpful comments and feedback.

This report

This report sets out the findings from the consultation. Many respondents supported their responses with more detailed comments, some of which have been included in this report to give readers a better understanding of the views expressed and the reasons for these. Some participants requested topics that are already covered in the questionnaire and other requests related more to potential analyses that are already possible with the existing data. For example, there were a number of requests for more examination of comorbidities. These are not generally detailed here, as this report is focused on the developments needed for the 2022 survey. After each section recommendations are made.

These recommendations highlight areas for development, review and testing, and are not commitments on final 2022 content.

Download a copy of this report as a pdf

Last edited: 22 September 2021 2:10 pm