Meeting to review the Health Behaviour of School-aged Children (HBSC) protocol to increase utilization of collected data

A participatory meeting of the Slovak national HBSC study team with stakeholders, focusing on reviewing the HBSC protocol, took place at the Ministry of Health, Bratislava, Slovakia on 15 December 2016.

Around 30 stakeholders from various departments of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport; the Public Health Authority; nongovernmental organizations; and academic and research institutions were invited to this meeting, which was organized with the technical and financial support of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The main aim was to introduce the stakeholders to the potential of the HBSC study and to identify their concerns and requirements in order to increase utilization of the data from the next collection wave planned for 2017/2018.

The Slovak national HBSC team outlined six themes of the study:

  • health and reproductive health
  • eating habits, dental health
  • peers, risk behaviour, electronic media, violence
  • leisure-time activities, physical activity, fitness
  • family, socioeconomic disadvantage
  • school-related factors.

An HBSC team member responsible for each theme prepared a catalogue of items for the mandatory, optional and national questionnaire modules of the HBSC survey – the response data from which they would use to draft the relevant part of the national report, HBSC factsheets and international comparisons. They presented this catalogue to the meeting participants, who were asked for comments and advice not only on the themes but also on the methodology of the study itself. The participants were also requested to indicate concepts and indicators they believed should be included in the next data collection round because they were important for their work. At the end of the meeting they were asked to formulate how they could benefit from the HBSC study and how its data could be used in their work, with a focus on policy-making and practical interventions.