Survey Instruments

HINTS 4, Cycle 4 (2014) Survey Materials
HINTS 4, Cycle 4 (2014) data were collected from August through November, 2014. The sample design for HINTS 4, Cycle 4 (2014) consisted of a single-mode mail survey, using the Next Birthday Method for respondent selection.

The sample design for the HINTS 4, Cycle 4 (2014) survey consisted of two-stages. In the first stage, a stratified sample of addresses was selected from a file of residential addresses. In the second-stage, one adult was selected within each sampled household. The sampling frame consisted of a database of addresses used by Marketing Systems Group (MSG) to provide random samples of addresses. Complete data were collected from 3,677 respondents.

  • HINTS 4, Cycle 4 (2014) Full-content, English Version: PDF (971 KB)
  • HINTS 4, Cycle 4 (2014) Methodology Report: PDF (2.2 MB)
  • HINTS 4, Cycle 4 (2014) Full-content, Spanish Version: PDF (476 KB)
  • HINTS 4, Cycle 4 (2014) Reduced-content, Spanish Version: PDF (495 KB)

HINTS 4, Cycle 3 (2013) Survey Materials
HINTS 4, Cycle 3 (2013) data were collected from September 2013 through December 2013. The sample design for HINTS 4, Cycle 3 (2013) consisted of a single-mode mail survey, using the Next Birthday Method for respondent selection.

The sample design for the HINTS 4, Cycle 3 (2013) survey consisted of two-stages. In the first stage, a stratified sample of addresses was selected from a file of residential addresses. In the second-stage, one adult was selected within each sampled household. The sampling frame consisted of a database of addresses used by Marketing Systems Group (MSG) to provide random samples of addresses. Complete data were collected from 3,185 respondents.

  • HINTS 4, Cycle 3 (2013) Full-content, English Version: PDF (1 MB)
  • HINTS 4, Cycle 3 (2013) Methodology Report: PDF (652 KB)
  • HINTS 4, Cycle 3 (2013) Full-content, Spanish Version: PDF (628 KB)
  • HINTS 4, Cycle 3 (2013) Reduced-content, Spanish Version: PDF (2 MB)

HINTS 4, Cycle 2 (2012) Survey Materials
HINTS 4, Cycle 2 (2012) data were collected from October 2012 through January 2013. The sample design for HINTS 4, Cycle 2 (2012) consisted of a single-mode mail survey, using the Next Birthday Method for respondent selection.

The sample design for the HINTS 4, Cycle 2 (2012) survey consisted of two-stages. In the first stage, a stratified sample of addresses was selected from a file of residential addresses. In the second-stage, one adult was selected within each sampled household. The sampling frame consisted of a database of addresses used by Marketing Systems Group (MSG) to provide random samples of addresses. Complete data were collected from 3,630 respondents.

  • HINTS 4, Cycle 2 (2012) Full-content, English Version: PDF (814 KB)
  • HINTS 4, Cycle 2 (2012) Full-content, Spanish Version: PDF (540 KB)
  • HINTS 4, Cycle 2 (2012) Methodology Report: PDF (533 KB)

HINTS 4, Cycle 1 (2011) Survey Materials
HINTS 4, Cycle 1 (2011) data were collected from October 2011 through February 2012. The sample design for HINTS 4, Cycle 1 (2011) consisted of a single-mode mail survey, with two methods of respondent selection: the “All Adult” method and the “Next Birthday” method. The sampling consisted of a two-stage stratified sample of addresses used by Marketing Systems Group (MSG).

Two methods of respondent selection were used for HINTS 4, Cycle 1 (2011): the “All Adult” method and the “Next Birthday” method. In the All Adult method, two questionnaires were sent with each mailing, where all adults residing in a sampled household were asked to complete the questionnaire. In the next birthday method, one questionnaire was sent with each mailing so that the adult who would have the next birthday in the sampled household was asked to complete the questionnaire. Data were collected from 3,959 respondents.

Refer to the HINTS 4, Cycle 1 (2011) Methodology Report for more information about the design, testing, and implementation of the HINTS 4, Cycle 1 (2011) survey. You may also download the complete dataset.

  • All-Adult, Full-content, English Version: PDF (777 KB)
  • All-Adult, Reduced-content, English Version: PDF (716 KB)
  • Next-Birthday, Full-content, English Version: PDF (779 KB)
  • Next-Birthday, Reduced-content, English Version: PDF (531 KB)
  • Next-Birthday, Full-content, Spanish Version: PDF (715 KB)
  • Next-Birthday, Reduced-content, Spanish Version: PDF (590 KB)

HINTS Puerto Rico 2009
The University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Puerto Rico Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System, and the U.S. National Cancer Institute, implemented HINTS in Puerto Rico in 2009. A total of 639 (603 complete and 36 partially complete) interviews were conducted. Documentation is available to assist with analyzing the HINTS Puerto Rico data, including instructions on how to combine the dataset with HINTS 2007 for comparisons. See the Final Report below for more information about the design, testing, and implementation of the HINTS Puerto Rico survey. You may also download the complete dataset.

  • HINTS Puerto Rico 2009 Final Report: PDF (191 KB)
  • HINTS Puerto Rico 2009 Extended Interview Instrument (Spanish): PDF (319 KB)
  • English language full instrument not available.

HINTS 3 (2008) Survey Materials
HINTS 3 (2008) data were collected from January 2008 through May 2008. The sample design for HINTS 3 (2008) consisted of two samples with each sample selected from a separate sample frame. One sample was drawn as a Random Digit Dial telephone survey, using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) format. The CATI survey for HINTS 3 (2008) was conducted using the same methodology as HINTS 2 and 1. Survey administration averaged 30 minutes per respondent. Data were collected from 4,092 respondents via CATI.

The second national random sample was selected from a list of addresses from the United States Postal Service administrative records. After the CATI instrument was modified to produce a printed questionnaire, the survey and a cover letter were sent to the address sample. All adults at each sampled address were asked to fill out the questionnaire and return it in a postage-paid envelope. Data were collected from 3,582 respondents via mail.

See the Final Report below for more information about the design, testing, and implementation of the HINTS 3 (2008) survey. You may also download the complete dataset.

  • HINTS 3 (2008) Final Report: PDF (1 MB)
  • HINTS 3 (2008) Mail Instrument: PDF (404 KB)
  • HINTS 3 (2008) CATI Instrument (English) PDF (445 KB)
  • HINTS 3 (2008) CATI Instrument (Spanish) PDF (450 KB)

HINTS 2 (2005) Survey Materials
HINTS 2 data were collected from February 2005 through August 2005. HINTS 2 was fielded as a Random Digit Dial telephone survey, using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) format to accommodate complex skip-patterns. Data collection procedures were identical to HINTS 2003. Survey administration averaged 30 minutes per respondent. Data were collected from 5,586 respondents. Materials describing the 2005 administration of the survey are available below. See the Final Report below for more information about the design, testing, and implementation of the HINTS 2 survey. You may also download the complete dataset.

  • HINTS 2 (2005) Final Report: PDF (208 KB)
  • HINTS 2 (2005) Main Survey Instrument (English): PDF (510 KB)
  • HINTS 2 (2005) Main Survey Instrument (Spanish): PDF (475 KB)

HINTS 1 (2003) Survey Materials
The first collection of HINTS data was conducted from October 2002 to April 2003. This initial data collection effort was fielded as a Random Digit Dial telephone survey, using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) format to accommodate complex skip-patterns. Telephone numbers were generated at random from a sampling frame of all telephone exchanges throughout the 50 United States. Numbers were submitted to a telephone matching service to remove nonresidential numbers, where feasible, before calling. Screening calls were then placed to households. Interviewers followed an on-screen sampling algorithm to select a single sampled person from all adults 18 years and older in the household. Survey administration averaged 30 minutes per respondent. Data were collected from 6,369 respondents. See the Final Report link below for more information about the design, testing, and implementation of the HINTS 2003 survey.

Materials describing the first administration of the survey are available for download. You may also download the complete dataset.

  • HINTS 1 (2003) Final Report: PDF (1 MB)
  • HINTS 1 (2003) Survey Instrument (English): PDF (448 KB)
  • HINTS 1 (2003) Survey Instrument (Spanish): PDF (451 KB)

Learn about mode, trends and more in the HINTS FAQ.

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HINTS Data Terms of Use

It is of utmost importance to ensure the confidentiality of survey participants. Every effort has been made to exclude identifying information on individual respondents from the computer files. Some demographic information such as sex, race, etc., has been included for research purposes. NCI expects that users of the data set will adhere to the strictest standards of ethical conduct for the analysis and reporting of nationally collected survey data. It is mandatory that all research results be presented/published in a manner that protects the integrity of the data and ensures the confidentiality of participants.

In order for the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) to provide a public-use or another version of data to you, it is necessary that you agree to the following provisions.

  1. You will not present/publish data in which an individual can be identified. Publication of small cell sizes should be avoided.
  2. You will not attempt to link nor permit others to link the data with individually identified records in another database.
  3. You will not attempt to learn the identity of any person whose data are contained in the supplied file(s).
  4. If the identity of any person is discovered inadvertently, then the following should be done;
    1. no use will be made of this knowledge,
    2. the HINTS Program staff will be notified of the incident,
    3. no one else will be informed of the discovered identity.
  5. You will not release nor permit others to release the data in full or in part to any person except with the written approval of the HINTS Program staff.
  6. If accessing the data from a centralized location on a time sharing computer system or LAN, you will not share your logon name and password with any other individuals. You will also not allow any other individuals to use your computer account after you have logged on with your logon name and password.
  7. For all software provided by the HINTS Program, you will not copy, distribute, reverse engineer, profit from its sale or use, or incorporate it in any other software system.
  8. The source of information should be cited in all publications. The appropriate citation is associated with the data file used. Please see Suggested Citations in the Download HINTS Data section of this Web site, or the Readme.txt associated with the ASCII text version of the HINTS data.
  9. Analyses of large HINTS domains usually produce reliable estimates, but analyses of small domains may yield unreliable estimates, as indicated by their large variances. The analyst should pay particular attention to the standard error and coefficient of variation (relative standard error) for estimates of means, proportions, and totals, and the analyst should report these when writing up results. It is important that the analyst realizes that small sample sizes for particular analyses will tend to result in unstable estimates.
  10. You may receive periodic e-mail updates from the HINTS administrators.