Largest Ever International Survey of Youth Health to be Planned in Galway

Monday, 8 June 2009

The largest ever survey of children and young people's health is to be planned by international experts in NUI Galway this week. A hundred scientists will gather to prepare for the next round of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study which will take place during 2010 in more than 43 countries and will include over 230,000 children aged 11-15 years. Of particular interest will be the opportunity to listen to the voices of Irish young people, who will showcase their projects and views on children's health and well-being and help ensure that their voices are fully represented in the planning process. Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn of the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway, and Principal Investigator for HBSC Ireland, said: "We are delighted to welcome colleagues from across Europe and North America to Galway, planning the next international survey is a huge undertaking and we need to make sure that the best possible methods are used". The HBSC survey aims for greater understanding of health among young people, both physical and emotional, and includes information on the context of young people's lives including families, school, communities and peer groups. These data sets will be vital to those developing policy, strategy and practice in the area of youth health and well-being in Ireland and internationally. In order to ensure that comparisons between countries are valid, the scientists convening in Galway will discuss and agree how to make sure that all countries follow the same procedures and collect information in the same way. All the questions to be included in the next survey round including the rationale and evidence-base will be discussed. "Young people deserve the best quality, evidenced-based planning for their health and well-being, and they want to be involved in the process – our aim is to make that possible" said Dr Nic Gabhainn.
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