Panel on Health and Ageing of Singaporean Elderly (PHASE) is a longitudinal panel study that aims to develop a profile of the changes in physical, social and mental health of Singaporeans (citizens and permanent residents) aged 60 years or more. The panel study was initiated in 2009, enrolling and interviewing a nationally representative sample of 4,990 community-dwelling elderly Singaporeans (Wave 1). The same set of elderly Singaporeans was then interviewed for a 2nd time in 2011 (Wave 2) and will be interviewed for the 3rd time in 2015 (Wave 3).

Also known as

Social Isolation, Health and Lifestyles Survey (SIHLS), 2009

Specific objectives

  1. To determine the extent of social isolation among elderly Singaporeans, and changes with time, within and between income groups.
  2. To understand the interactions among health status, income, social engagement, housing, network support and loneliness.
  3. To understand the constraints on and channels for social participation and to identify preferences for preventing and responding to isolation.


A random sample of 8,400 elderly, stratified by gender, ethnicity and 5-year age groups (60-64, 65-69, …., 85+) was drawn from the national database of dwellings. Elderly aged 75 years and above, Malays and Indians were oversampled by a factor of 2, to ensure a sufficient number of respondents in these subgroups for analysis. A total of 1,195 addresses in the sample were found to be invalid. Among the rest, a total of 4,990 elderly were interviewed face-to-face, at their residence after obtaining written informed consent, using a structured questionnaire, yielding a response rate of 69%. Data on a range of physical, mental and social health variables were collected. Anthropometric and performance measurements, including blood pressure, sitting and standing height, waist circumference, body weight and hand grip strength, were also conducted.


Ministry of Social and Family Development (erstwhile Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports), Singapore