Panel on Health and Ageing of Singaporean Elderly (PHASE)

Panel on Health and Ageing of Singaporean Elderly (PHASE) is a nationally representative longitudinal survey of older (aged 60 years and above) community-dwelling Singapore citizens and permanent residents. Initiated in 2009, PHASE collected data from the same older adults in 2009 (wave 1), 2011-12 (wave 2) and 2015 (wave 3). 

In wave 1 – also called Social Isolation, Health and Lifestyles Survey – a total of 4990 older Singaporeans or their proxy respondents [for 458 (9.2%) older adults unable to respond due to health reasons] were interviewed and data on a range of physical, mental and social health variables were collected along with anthropometric and performance measurements.

In wave 2, a total of 3103 older adults (or their proxy) were re-interviewed, collecting information on the same set of variables assessed in wave 1. Additional information on fall history, provision and receipt of transfers from family members, healthcare insurance, use of acute and long-term care services and medications was collected.

In wave 3 – also called Singapore Assessment for Frailty in Elderly – Building upon the Panel on Health and Ageing of Singaporean Elderly (SAFE-PHASE) – a total of 1572 older adults (or their proxy) were interviewed for a 3rd time, again collecting information on the same variables asked in wave 1 and 2. In addition, detailed information on employment, physical activity, health literacy, medication use and adherence, physical frailty and understanding of prescription medication labels was also gathered.

A decedent questionnaire, to collect information about end-of-life health status, was administered to willing next-of-kin of the participants who were reported as dead in waves 2 and 3. Information on date of death of survey participants who had died till 31 December 2015 was obtained from the national Registry of Births and Deaths. PHASE waves 2 and 3, analysis of de‐identified data from PHASE wave 1, and linkage with the mortality database have been approved by the Institutional Review Board at the National University of Singapore.

More details on PHASE, including its design and participant flow across waves, are provided in the publication “Chan A, Saito Y, Matchar DB, Østbye T, Malhotra C, Ang S, Ma S, Malhotra R. Cohort Profile: Panel on Health and Ageing of Singaporean Elderly (PHASE). International Journal of Epidemiology. 2019; 48(6): 1750‐1751f.”. 


Quick guide for dataset request

Researchers can request for de-identified data from the Panel on Health and Ageing of Singaporean Elderly (PHASE) waves 1-3 for academic research purposes. The full dataset for PHASE will not be shared; only a subset of the dataset, containing the variables that are relevant for answering the research question/s or investigating the research topic/s the researchers are interested in will be shared.


Steps for accessing the PHASE de-identified data

Step 1: Download the Dataset Codebook and Data Request Form

Step 2: Submit the completed Data Request Form to CARE Data Request

Note: CARE may request clarifications from you on the submitted data request form, if necessary.
If an undergraduate or graduate student wants to use PHASE data for a research project or thesis then the student’s supervisor must be listed as Requestor 1 (Lead Researcher) in the Data Request Form. The student can be listed as an additional researcher.

Next, permission for sharing the data will be taken from various data owners by CARE, based on the submitted data request form. Please proceed to Step 3 only after CARE has informed you of the permission outcome.

Step 3: Obtain approval from your Institutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics review board for the analysis of de-identified survey data from PHASE

  • If you require a supporting letter from PHASE researchers in support of your IRB or ethics review board application, please download the supporting letter template, fill in your name, institution and study name and submit it to the CARE Data Request email
  • If the content of the supporting letter needs to be modified, please send your request to the same email

Step 4: Upon approval of your IRB or ethics review board application, please submit the IRB or ethics review board approval letter and the approved IRB or ethics review board application form/protocol to the CARE Data Request email for our reference

Step 5: Sign the non-negotiable Letter of Undertaking - PHASE Data (to be signed by the lead researcher, and his/her institutional representative).

Step 6: You will receive the dataset either in person or via a secure cloud-based link