Healthcare-Seeking in Germany (HEALSEE)

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Wendt, Claus (Universität Siegen)
  • Reibling, Nadine (Universität Siegen)
  • Mischke, Monika (Universität Siegen)
  • Böhr, Dorothea (Universität Siegen)
Publication Date
  • infas Institut für angewandte Sozialforschung, Bonn (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • Society, Culture
    • Family
    • Medicine
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Specific diseases and medical conditions
    • Elderly
  • Abstract

    Decision making is a core feature of human life. A common problem that people often encounter over the course of life is what to do in the event of sickness. Since illness has a major influence on people’s lives, studying healthcare-seeking is of vital importance. Moreover, patients’ decisions about healthcare fundamentally determine the performance of the overall healthcare system in terms of a population’s health, the quality of healthcare services, and the level of expenditures. Even though illness behaviour has been an intensively studied research topic over the past five decades, previous work has largely overlooked the embeddedness of these decisions in social and institutional contexts. This project will theoretically, methodologically, and empirically enhance previous research. The project will contribute to the development of an integrative theoretical framework of illness behaviour and provide an important test case for institutional theories and the theory of frame selection. The collected survey data on people over 65 will provide a unique data source about the healthcare needs of older people and the way they manage these needs. It will analyze these people’s decision making when having a medical condition with a particular emphasis on the interpretation of symptoms and the utilization of healthcare, and it will generate information about the extent and variety of self-care strategies. Finally, the project will analyze how social networks and institutional features of the healthcare system influence the decision making of healthcare seeking.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2015-04-15 / 2015-10-17
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Sampled Universe
German-speaking persons aged between 40 and 75 years in private households The persons were considered irrespective of their nationality, that is, both German and non-German persons are included in the universe.
Sampling Procedure Comment: Probability Sample: Multistage Sample
Collection Mode
  • First survey: Telephone interview: CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview) Follow-up surveys: Self-administered questionnaire: Paper
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 359
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA5248 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • infas Institut für angewandte Sozialwissenschaft: ´Healthcare-Seeking in Germany / Entscheidungsverhalten im Krankheitsfall´ (Healsee) - Haupterhebung 2015. Bonn: Methodenbericht 2016

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 18 | Registration Date: 2017-08-03