IBGE in the field

Study defines Brazilian students' health conditions and habits

Section: Special Series | Rodrigo Paradella

April 08, 2019 10h00 AM | Last Updated: April 17, 2019 11h50 AM


Nearly 187 thousand stufdents of 4,361 schools will be part of PeNSE's collection - PHoto: Pixabay

Non-communicable chronic degenerative diseases, which are responsible for 72% of deaths in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), can be kicked off by habits started in adolescence. Thinking of that, the IBGE begins today (8) the data collection for the National Survey of School Health (PeNSE), which invstigates living conditions, health and habits of students of the seventh year of Primary Education up to the third year of Secondary Education.

According to WHO, non-communicable chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and mental disorders are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioral factors. The focus of PeNSE is to try to improve the last two factors.

“Schools are places that favor the monitoring of habits. The facts that the survey is carried out in the shcools make it easier. It is a timely survey due to the fact it deals with a relevant age bracket and addresses a subject related to population's quality of life and health”, explains the survey manager, Marco Antônio Andreazzi.

Among the subjects approached in the survey are habits that can either cause or prevent diseases - as the consumption of alcohol, cigarrets and forbidden drugs -, nutrition and sports, and also information about the school environment, essential for the protection of students' mental health, such as the presence of violence, perception of body image and bullying, for example.

The data collection

PeNSE is a sample survey that will listen to more than 187 thousand students from 4,361 spread over all federation units, in the public and private network. The operation will count on the contribution of nearly 600 civil servants of the IBGE, from April and June this year, and on the use of 19 thousand mobile collection devices (DMC).

“Schools are selected according to the sample. Afterwards, we updte the school records with the address, headmaster's telephone number or e-mail, number of classes, etc. Then, we draw the classes that will answer the questionnaire and schedule the interviews with each class. In addition, we have a specific questionnaire for the school headmaster about safety, structure, and finally, about the school environment as a whole, " says Andreazzi.

As much of the data are confidential, such as drug use and sexual life, the questionnaire is filled out by the students themselves. The IBGE agents are there for clarifications in case of doubts. Besides confidentiality, students also have the right not to answer questions which are considered uncomfortable or to stop answering anytime they wish.

“The questionnaire is answered in class. We indicate the presentation of a video to introduce the survey and make them aware of the importance of filling the answers out properly. It is an ice-breaker”, explains PeNSE's manager.

"It's a self-administered questionnaire. It is more objective and direct so that the person can understand and respond it without help. We guarantee secrecy, we do not even have access to the student's data."

The last edition of the survey was conducted in 2015, when there was a low percentage of student and school refusals. The data is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2020.


Keywords: Saúde, Escola, Estudante, Adolescente