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FSD2886 Welfare and Services in Finland 2006

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Authors

  • Moisio, Pasi (National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES))

Keywords

family policy, health, health policy, health services, home help, housing, informal care, living conditions, social and welfare policy, social networks, social security, social services, social welfare, standard of living, well-being (health)

Abstract

Welfare and Services in Finland is a panel survey that combines telephone and face-to-face interviews, postal surveys and register data. The aim of the study is to offer up-to-date, reliable and extensive research data on Finnish welfare and the use of welfare services. In 2006, the data were collected through telephone interviews. This dataset concentrates on Finnish adults. Main topics included well-being, social relationships, health, use and accessibility of health services, use of and satisfaction with social services, informal care, social security, and social trust.

Well-being was charted with questions focusing on the standard of living and housing. The respondents were asked whether they were able to save money and pay their expenses, how they thought the economic circumstances of the household would develop in the near future, whether the household could afford certain things (e.g. buy new clothes rather than used ones), and how satisfied they were with different aspects of their housing and neighbourhood of residence.

Social relationships were investigated with questions about satisfaction with life, leisure time and work, feelings of loneliness, contacts with friends and relatives, membership of a club or association, and voting in the previous parliamentary elections. Relating to health and health services, questions were asked about health status, limiting long-term illnesses or disabilities and their effects on daily life, stress, pregnancies, and visits to a doctor or nurse in the previous 12 months. Further questions probed where the respondents would primarily try to get a doctor's appointment during daytime, whether they had received sufficient care for health problems, what the distance to the closest health centre, doctor's office, dentist's office etc. was from their home, and whether they had had to wait unreasonably long to receive treatment (e.g. to get a doctor's appointment in a health centre). Dental health and visits to a dentist were surveyed.

Views on social services were charted by asking whether the respondents trusted the skills of social services staff, whether they thought claiming a benefit would be difficult for them, whether they would be entitled to different services and benefits if needed, whether social services functioned well or needed improvement, and to what extent various services should be developed in the municipality. Use of social services was investigated with questions surveying contacts with the social services in the previous 12 months, sufficiency and quality of the aid or service received, waiting time for the aid or service, and satisfaction with the services.

With regard to informal care, the respondents were asked whether they assisted an aged, disabled or sick friend or relative. Distance from their home to this person, and type and frequency of help offered were investigated.

Views on social security were surveyed with questions on the level of social security in Finland, the relationship between taxation level and social security, preferable ways of providing health and social services (i.e. private or public), and the extent to which tax revenue should be used to fund services. Some statements charted trust in other people.

Background variables included, among others, the size of the household and number of children in the household as well as R's gender, year of birth, marital status, economic activity, employment status, occupation, and type of employment contract. In addition, there are register variables containing information on region (NUTS3), statistical grouping of the municipality of residence, disposable income of the household, hospital district, and level of education (3-level ISCED classification).

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