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Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health
Health Assessment Unit
313 N. Figueroa St., Room 127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
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Phone:(213) 240-7785
Fax:(213) 250-2594

1999 L. A. County Health Survey Background Summary & Methodology

 
Survey Objectives: To collect information on the health risk behaviors, health status, use of preventive health services, and access to and utilization of health care services among Los Angeles County residents.

Parent Survey: The parent interview has been improved to collect information about the health-related issues for the child(ren) in the household. A longer interview was administered to the parents of children age 0 to 5 years to collect baseline information for use in further policy research (i.e., Children & Families First State Commission, Proposition 10 Commission).

Low-Income Survey: A supplemental survey of low-income persons (at or below 100% of the federal poverty level) was conducted to better understand the needs of this population, and its barriers to accessing health care services.

Sample size: 8,354 adults age 18 years or older, living in Los Angeles County, were interviewed in the main survey. A sample of 6,016 interviews were completed among parents of children age 17 years or less in the Parent Survey. Increased numbers improve our ability to analyze the data for various social-demographic sub-groups and by geographic area. An additional component, the Low Income Follow-up Survey, was added to the 1999 Health Survey. This survey consisted of re-interviews with 1,898 respondents identified from the Main Adult Survey as having household incomes of less than 100% of the federal poverty level.

Main Survey- new topics: Violence and injury, nutrition, adult immunization, oral health, medical management of chronic diseases, mental health and emotional well being, and perceptions of community safety.

Main Survey– improved/expanded topics: Physical activity, alcohol use, preventive screening practices, and smoking cessation behaviors.

Parent Survey– new topics: Childhood immunization, obesity, nutrition, physical activity, unintentional injury prevention, conditions in the social and family environment such as parent well-being, quality of time with children, child care, and housing security.

Other subpopulations: In addition to young children, families, and low-income groups, increased emphasis was given to elderly, racial/ethnic, and/or linguistic minorities.

For the elderly population, measures of functional status, need for assistance with activities of daily living, and age-specific health practices were included.

For the ethnic populations, use of non-traditional, culturally-specific health care products or services and experiencing language as a barrier to services were included.

Meeting the 1115 Waiver and Ambulatory Care Planning Goals: Questions on access to health care, health insurance, and health services utilization will assist the Ambulatory Care Planning process, the evaluation of the 1115 Waiver Demonstration Project’s effect on access to care, and the health of residents who rely on the public health care system. In order to evaluate the impact of the 1115 Waiver, many of the content areas for the survey are identical to those of 1997. These include measures such as having a regular source of care, health insurance status, and utilization of preventive health services.

Meeting Department of Health Services (DHS) Goals: The survey meets multiple information needs of DHS programs, as evidenced in the funding contributed by state-funded programs (e.g. Tobacco Control Program, Family Health Programs). Many prevention-oriented programs involving maternal, child, and family health, chronic and acute disease prevention, health promotion, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, all require population-based, health risk information on which to base planning and evaluation of interventions, outreach, health care delivery, and program provision.

Meeting Broader Community Needs: The process for development of the 1999 Survey involved broad input from key persons and organizations throughout the County. Representatives from community-based organizations, the academic community, and other County Departments provide assurance that critical information needs are addressed. In addition, the data collected was based on national benchmarks, such as Healthy People 2000 and 2010, to facilitate comparison of the health of Los Angeles County residents with that of the nation.

Tobacco Policy: Through a supplemental review, the public’s views on tobacco control policies, the tobacco industry’s role in promoting smoking, and other factors that influence the use of tobacco products are examined. Additional questions provide information to evaluate the effectiveness of tobacco control activities in the County.

Geographic Analysis: To allow for more flexibility in analyzing the results by specific geographic area, the respondent's nearest cross-street was used to determine service planning area, health district, supervisorial district.

Funding: Support for the Survey was provided by the California Department of Health Services, the Health Care Financing Administration, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services an the Los Angeles County Medicaid Demonstration Project.


Topics of 1999 Health Survey

 

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