13 June 2013
The HBSC study in Switzerland
Target population and objectives
The Swiss HBSC-Study deals with different aspects of health behaviour and lifestyles in school children of 5th to 9th grades (i.e. mostly 11 to 15 years olds). It is carried out every four years and permits a representative assessment of health and health behaviour among adolescents in Switzerland, as well as comparisons to the situation in earlier years. It thus provides an important informative basis for health policy in general and targeted health promotions and prevention measures in both school and recreational area in particular.
In 2010, with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health and the cantons, Addiction Switzerland (formerly Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems, SIPA) conducts the Swiss HBSC-Study for the seventh time after 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Within the national HBSC-Study, the cantons may commission their own specific studies. These permit them to compare their results to those of the whole of Switzerland.
The next study will take place in 2014.
To select participants, cluster sampling is used, where pupils are the basic units and classes are the clusters. Stratified by the cantons, the sample is taken from the entire population in all classes of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade in public schools in Switzerland.
About 700 classes of 5th to 9th grade are randomly selected for participating in the national study, which results in a sample of about 10'000 pupils. In those cantons that have commissioned their own specific study, the number of selected classes is increased in order to reach a minimum of 75 classes.
The questionnaire of the HBSC-Study in Switzerland is based on international questions on the one hand and on national questions on the other hand. A team of research experts of the participating countries has elaborated the international questions. To this, Addiction Switzerland adds national questions in order to cover some health-related topics in greater detail. For ethical reasons and not to overburden the younger respondents, some items (especially those dealing with sexuality and illegal substances) are included only in the questionnaire designed for 8th and 9th grade pupils (most of whom are aged 14 or older).
Under supervision of the class teacher, the questionnaire is completed by the pupils in the classroom during a regular lesson (45 minutes). The pupils' participation is voluntary and absolutely anonymous.
The results of the 2010 survey have been published in different documents:
in German, Windlin, B., & Delgrande Jordan, M. (2013). Multipler Substanzkonsum - Systematische Zusammenstellung von Prävalenzen bei 11- bis 15-jährigen Jugendlichen in der Schweiz. Resultate der internationalen Studie «Health Behaviour in School-aged Children» (HBSC) 2010 (Forschungsbericht Nr. 66). Lausanne: Sucht Schweiz. (Download)
Research report (in German)
in German, Kuntsche, E., & Delgrande Jordan, M. (Eds.). (2012). Gesundheit und Gesundheitsverhalten Jugendlicher in der Schweiz. Ergebnisse einer nationalen Befragung. Bern: Verlag Hans Huber. (Order)
in French, Delgrande Jordan, M., & Kuntsche, E. (Eds.). (2012). Comportements de santé des jeunes adolescents en Suisse. Les résultats d'une enquête nationale. Chêne-Bourg: Editions Médecine & Hygiène. (Order)
Switzerland’s position as compared to the other participating countries can be observed in the international report of the 2010 HBSC study. This report was published beginning of May 2012 and can be downloaded here.