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The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) is a statewide public health survey designed to help improve health in Wisconsin and throughout the world. The program has been in operation by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health since 2008. As of January 2016, the growing SHOW cohort includes over 5,150 adults and children.
The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin is designed to:
- To conduct annual health surveys of Wisconsin residents and communities
- To conduct longitudinal follow-up of survey participants
- Enable community-specific and community-driven ancillary studies
The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) is the first statewide research survey of its kind to measure information on critical health conditions in Wisconsin. The data that SHOW collects is shared with leaders, organizations and researchers who use it to improve health in the state. Findings from SHOW present a comprehensive picture of the health of Wisconsin residents, helping to identify needs and target resources where they are most needed.
The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin is funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program and is under the direction of co-directors Dr. Kristen Malecki and Dr. Paul Peppard, and their team at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
The SHOW team includes experts in survey research from the UW department of Population Health Sciences and benefits from the scientific advice of a broad range of experts and consultants from multiple departments at UW, the state, and around the nation.
SHOW is modeled after the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) national survey (NHANES), which has provided key health information about the nation's health for 35 years. With state focus, SHOW provides the more detailed information needed to understand the unique health needs in Wisconsin.
Each year, trained Survey of the Health of Wisconsin staff knock on the doors of randomly selected households throughout the state to invite people to participate. All participation in SHOW is voluntary. SHOW will meet face-to-face and privately with up to 1,000 Wisconsin residents to evaluate their health. Because the participants in the survey are selected as a representative sample of the state populations, the results of these surveys tell us about the health of all Wisconsin residents.
SHOW uses a variety of health assessments methods to capture information not available before about the health of Wisconsin residents. These assessments include: in-person interviews, paper questionnaires, computer-assisted surveys, physical measurements and laboratory tests.
SHOW measures a broad range of health information. These include many conditions and health-related characteristics that, to date, have only been measured by self-report. These conditions include high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Additionally, the use of computer-assisted questionnaires provide previously unavailable information about nutrition and exercise habits, access to health care, health care use and other health related behaviors.
All the information collected by the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin is confidential. SHOW publishes results in summarized fashion, but no data on individual survey participants will be released or given away to any outside party. With the study participant's permission, the information will be available to qualified researchers well into the future and will be used to monitor the health of Wisconsin communities and to design programs that improve the health of residents.