Here’s an overview of Oregon Health Study data collection:

We sent mail surveys to everyone who was on the reservation list for the Oregon Health Plan in January and February of 2008. Mail surveys began in 2008 and are now conducted annually. We ask questions about participants’ physical and mental health, their health behaviors, their finances, and how they use health care.

In 2009-2010 we conducted over 12,000 in-person structured interviews that collected detailed information about participants’ health and health care.

During the structured interviews, we collected objective health data such as height and weight, blood pressure, and blood samples to test outcomes related to heart disease and diabetes.

We wanted to gather detailed information about how participants used health insurance and what it might have done for them, so we conducted over 600 open-ended qualitative interviews. The average interview lasted about an hour.

We wanted to understand how a person’s neighborhood might affect their health and their ability to benefit from health insurance, so we aggregated sociodemographic information, transit access information, walkability indicators, and an assessment of food availability to understand the kinds of neighborhoods that tend to be associated with health.