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HABIT study – Wave 1

General Information

Project description

In partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Office of Behavioural Science (BeSciO), the Privy Council Office’s Impact and Innovation Unit (IIU) has launched a multi-wave public opinion research survey to better understand public health challenges in Canada. The 'Health, Attitudes, and Behavioural Insights Trends' (HABIT) survey, combines research methods from the field of behavioural science (BeSci) with robust policy analysis to help inform government policies, programs, and ongoing surveillance initatives. Data from this survey will provide a national perspective on cross-cutting Canadian public health outcomes and underlying public health behaviours, behavioural factors, social determinants
of health, and systems-level drivers.

The current project is the first wave of this cross-sectional study, gather data among people who reside in Canada (n = 2000) related to a range of topics central to the Government of Canada’s public health priorities. This survey will track a variety of public health-related behaviours and attitudes, providing an opportunity to analyze key factors predicting various public health outcomes as well as differences in those outcomes across various segments of the population. Sections of the survey include the following:

General demographics & social determinants of health
General health status
Mental health and well-being
Access to and use of various health services
Substance use
Health promotion
Infectious disease prevention & management
Views on public health system
Perceived and experienced impacts of climate change on individual health

Analysis Plan

Pre-analysis plan: Is there a pre-analysis plan associated with this registration?



The analysis will be run in R. There will be two syntax files:

Data cleaning: Rename variables, remove outliers, compute index variables for all question sets, and perform data reduction to create new variables (i.e., using an average composite or principal component scores).

Statistical analysis: Implement the following analysis plan.

Descriptive statistics:

- Generate descriptive statistics for all variables (i.e., central tendency, distribution, and count), with and without splitting across primary socio-demographic characteristics.

- Visualize variables across primary socio-demographic splits.

Inferential statistics:

- Use correlations and regressions to examine relationships across variables, with and without controlling for primary socio-demographic variables. Unless otherwise noted, regression models will control for socio-demographic variables, marked as “demographics”.

- Use appropriate statistical tests (e.g., chi-square, ANOVA) to identify significant differences across primary socio-demographic characteristics on key outcome variables.

Additional Analysis:

- Where appropriate, data reduction techniques (e.g., PCA, Factor Analysis) will be applied on a select group of survey questions to best represent underlying psychological contructs.

- A bayesian model averaging approach will be used for exploratory analysis to identify variables with the highest posterior probability as significant predictors for dependent variables of interest.

- Use cluster analysis approaches (e.g., Latent class, K-means) to identify audience segments related to public health.

External link

Who is behind the project?

Institution: Privy Council Office
Team: Impact and Innovation Unit (IIU)

Project status:



Methodology: Observational, Survey
Could you self-grade the strength of the evidence generated by this study?: 1
Data collection: Have any data been collected for this project already?: Some or all of the data have been collected, but the research team has not had access
Start date: 09/27/2023

What is the project about?

Policy area(s): Health, Mental Health, Physical activity, Vaccines
Topic(s): 一 Other
Behavioural tool(s):

Date published:

26 November 2023

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