The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) is a longitudinal population based survey which examines the health of an existing large national sample of Australian women. The Study collects important health data on women across Australia through regular surveys of women in four cohorts (which encompass the adult life span), and subsequent linkage of survey data to administrative health datasets.
Since 1996, the Study has used this data to work with the Department of Health to produce evidence to support policy development, and contribute to guidelines for health professionals and for health service provision. Data is also made available for research use, and since the Study began, over 800 scientific publications have been produced.
The aims of the continuing core survey, data linkage and reporting activities are to:
- Explore the relationship between social, behavioural and economic factors and health outcomes and use of health and related services
- Explore the influence of social, behavioural and economic factors on lifestyle choices around family and workplace participation at key points in women’s lives
- Advance understanding of the factors that enhance or inhibit good health in women
The objectives and outcomes of the ALSWH continue to be to:
- Collect scientifically valid information that is relevant to the Commonwealth and State Government departments of health to base policy and practice in women’s health on current data and accurate information
- Clarify the cause-and-effect relationships between women’s health and a range of biological, psychological, social and lifestyle factors
- Assess the effects of changes in policy and practice
- Explore the factors that influence health among women who are broadly representative of the Australian population
- Investigate all aspects of health throughout women’s lifespans