Statistics Canada is seeking volunteers to participate in qualitative testing of the new Canadian Oral Health Survey

Opened: July 2023
Closed: December 2023
Results posted: December 2023

Consultative engagement objectives

Statistics Canada and Health Canada have partnered to conduct the Canadian Oral Health Survey (COHS). This annual survey gathers information from Canadians on their oral health, including their ability to pay, challenges finding oral services, experiences with the oral health care system, and care needs. Additionally, the survey collects information on Canadians' knowledge of publicly funded oral health programs and access to dental care expenses and insurance coverage to better understand the state of oral health.

Before seeking feedback from Canadians, content determination for the COHS followed Statistics Canada’s comprehensive development process. The principal objective of the engagement sessions was to receive input from potential respondents to determine if additional adjustments to the content are required.

How to get involved

Utilizing social media, Statistics Canada recruited English- and French-speaking Canadians volunteers, aged 18 years or older, satisfying the following requirements:

  • have one or more children under the age of 18 years;
  • did not have private dental insurance coverage.

How participants got involved

Canadians who volunteered to test the questionnaire participated in virtual interviews lead by the COHS team. Interviews ranged between 30 and 60 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the questionnaire and were encouraged to provide comments on their understanding of the questions and response categories. Participants were also asked about the clarity of the questions, their ability to provide responses, and their familiarity with the terminology used throughout the questionnaire.


Overall, participants were satisfied with the content and the value of the questionnaire. Oral health concepts and terminologies were well understood by participants. Participant feedback and suggestions were assessed and incorporated to improve the clarity and ease of understanding of the questionnaire when general agreement emerged across participants.

Statistics Canada thanked and remunerated participants for their contributions to this consultative engagement initiative. Their insights helped guide improvements to the survey content.