Archived Health Databases

Canadian Census Survey

This database contains the statistical data collected via the Statistics Canada Census. This survey, which is conducted every four years, examines various characteristics of the population of Canada. At HDNS, we house the Nova Scotia portion of the census data, breaking it down by geography and providing a complete census profile for each dissemination area in the province. The database contains information about:

  • demographics
  • number of households, dwellings and families
  • socioeconomic indicators (income, unemployment, housing, occupation)
  • languages, ethnicity, religion

For more information, refer to Statistics Canada’s Census website.

Mental Health Outpatient Information System (MHOIS)

This system, which was implemented in all Nova Scotia mental health clinics in 1992, offers access to high quality patient data. The data is gathered using a Mental Health Outpatient Record form. Clinicians are required to complete a form for each of their client encounters. Data includes:

  • patient demographics
  • provider ID
  • clinic ID
  • date of service
  • diagnostic code
  • occupational status
  • treatment schedule code


At Health Data Nova Scotia, we protect this data carefully, by subjecting any projects requesting access to rigorous scrutiny by a multi-jurisdictional data access committee. If you require this information, you’ll need approval from a Research Ethics Board (REB). HDNS is also required to notify the Department of Health whenever MHOIS data is used.

Data accuracy

In some districts, the MHOIS information is entered in two places: the hospital system and the mental health clinic system. When this happens, double counting can occur. However, the Department of Health produces separate statistical reports that make it easier to audit, evaluate, monitor and fund services. Each year, this data is submitted to the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), where it is used for national comparative reporting.

Major revisions

In 2001 the principle and secondary diagnostic fields were converted from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CA (The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, Canadian Modification). For more information on ICD-10-CA, please consult ICD-10-CA Coding/Classification on the CIHI website.

National Population Health Survey

This is a Statistics Canada survey that interviews the same Canadian volunteers every two years. As its name suggests, it focuses on health and the factors that affect it. The information in this database includes:

  • population demographics
  • health status
  • determinants of health
  • socioeconomic indicators

For more information on the Population Health Survey, please refer to the Statistics Canada website.

Nova Scotia Health Survey

This is a survey that was taken in 1986 and 1995. It was a collaborative effort by researchers and government and was intended to provide an accurate reflection of the health of Nova Scotians. It provided valuable data that’s been used for health planning within the province. The database includes information on:

  • population demographics
  • health status
  • determinants of health
  • socioeconomic indicators

If you are interested in using this dataset, please contact us.

Nutrition Survey

The Nutrition Survey was conducted by Health Canada and every province participated. Nova Scotia participated in this survey in 1990.

The last national dietary survey from which the food and nutrient intakes of Canadians were collected was Nutrition Canada in 1970-1972. Considering the changes in food habits of Canadians since then, up-to-date information was needed for risk assessment activities and health promotion programs within the department, and to ensure a safe and adequate food supply.

The provincial nutrition surveys collected current information about the food intakes of Canadians which were used to carry out health risk assessment, review existing nutrition programs and policies such as food fortification and nutrition labelling, and set new policies in nutrition education and intervention programs.

The data in this survey includes information on:

  • population demographics
  • diet/food consumption patterns
  • knowledge/opinions related to diet
  • food preparation methods

For more information on the Nutrition Survey, please refer to the Health Canada website.