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HINTS 6 (2022) public use data available for download
Posted April 20, 2023
Our newest public use dataset, HINTS 6 (2022), is now available for download. In addition to the traditional items on health communication, the use of digital technology, and cancer risk awareness that HINTS is known for, HINTS 6 (2022) also covers new topics, such as social media and misinformation, telehealth, and the social determinants of health. HINTS 6 (2022) was fielded from March through November 2022 (N=6,252).
HINTS Data Linkage Project 2020 (HDLP) restricted use data now available to request
The HINTS Data Linkage Project 2020 (HDLP) contains geo-coded, restricted, HINTS 5 Cycle 4 data (2020; n = 3,865) linked—at the county level-- with over 70 external variables chosen from trusted and reliable sources including the US Census, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The external variables fall into five categories: 1) Social and economic factors (e.g., Income inequality); 2) Demographics (e.g., Percent of population 65 or older); 3) Information technology (e.g., Percent of households with broadband internet); 4) Built environment (e.g., Fitness centers and recreational sports per 100,000 people); and 5) Physical environment (e.g., Percentage of days with good air quality). See the HDLP external variables codebook for a list of all variables.
Given the geocodes and potential for disclosure, the HDLP is not a public-use data file and anyone interested in accessing the data will first need to apply to access the data via the HINTS restricted-use data request form.
HINTS-SEER (2021) restricted use data now available to request
In 2021, NCI undertook a pilot project to oversample cancer survivors for HINTS using three cancer registries from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program (https://seer.cancer.gov) as a sampling frame of cancer survivors. The pilot project, called HINTS-SEER, was designed to provide a larger sample of cancer survivors for HINTS analyses. The instrument closely resembles survey items and topics found on HINTS 5, Cycle 4 (2020), and includes other topics relevant to cancer survivors. A unique aspect of the HINTS-SEER dataset is that key data elements from the cancer registry datasets are linked to the HINTS survey responses, providing a more in-depth view of each respondent’s cancer diagnosis.
HINTS-SEER data were collected from January 11, 2021 through August 20, 2021. Once the SEER registries obtained consent to share individual mailing addresses, the mailing protocol for all three HINTS-SEER cohorts (Iowa Cancer Registry, Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry, and New Mexico Tumor Registry) followed a modified Dillman approach (Dillman, et al., 2009) with a total of four mailings: an initial mailing, a reminder postcard, and two follow-up mailings. Individuals in each sample received the first mailing and reminder postcard, while only non-respondents received the subsequent survey mailings. Complete data were collected from 1,234 respondents.
Because the HINTS-SEER dataset contains linked medical diagnosis variables and there is a potential for disclosure, HINTS-SEER is not a public-use data file that is available for download without first applying to use the data via the HINTS restricted-use data request form. Once the form has been submitted, it will be reviewed by a subcommittee of analysts and a member of the HINTS management team will be in touch with you via email within 2 weeks to discuss your request. To learn more about HINTS-SEER, please consult the methodology report and survey instrument.
HINTS 5, Cycle 4 (2020) public use data available for download
Our newest public use dataset, HINTS 5, Cycle 4 (2020), is available for download. HINTS 5, Cycle 4 (2020) data were collected from February through June, 2020. Complete data were collected from 3,865 respondents.
HINTS 5, Cycle 3 (2019) public use data available for download
Our newest public use dataset, HINTS 5, Cycle 3 (2019), is available for download. HINTS 5, Cycle 3 (2019) features our standard health communication and health technology items, as well as extended content on behavioral risk factors for cancer, such as alcohol; diet, weight and physical activity; tobacco; sleep; and UV exposure. HINTS 5, Cycle 3 (2019) was fielded January to May 2019 (N=5,438). The dataset also includes expanded guidance on how to merge multiple HINTS datasets, how to conduct statistical modeling and inferential statistics using SPSS, as well as information on a push-to-Web mode pilot study that was fielded with HINTS 5, Cycle 3 (2019).
HINTS 5, Cycle 2 (2018) public use data available for download
Our newest public use dataset, HINTS 5, Cycle 2 (2018), is now available for download! HINTS 5, Cycle 2 includes traditional HINTS items about health communication, health information technology use, cancer knowledge, and cancer risk behaviors, as well as new items such as communication needs around caregiving and palliative care and social support. HINTS 5, Cycle 2 (2018) was fielded January to May 2018 (N=3,504). HINTS 5, Cycle 2 (2018) also includes an expanded analytics recommendations document, which includes guidance on how to merge multiple HINTS datasets and how to conduct statistical modeling and inferential statistics using SPSS.
New Videos on How to Merge HINTS Data Now Available
Learn how to merge HINTS data for statistical analysis. Dr. Rick Moser, lead HINTS methodologist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), narrates a series of videos that demonstrate how to merge data from HINTS.
In this first video, he explains the benefits of merging two or more sets of HINTS data and gives an overview of what to do within the SAS software to merge and analyze the data.
In this second video, he explains how to create indicator variables and assign value labels to distinguish between two or more survey iterations.
In this third video, he explains how to create a new, merged data set from two or more survey iterations and verify all the data is accounted for in the new set.
In this fourth video, he explains how to run a quick statistical analysis after creating a merged data set from two or more survey iterations.
In this fifth and final video, he performs a more advanced statistical analysis and explains how to handle missing data.
HINTS 5, Cycle 1 and HINTS-FDA, Cycle 2 Now Available for Download
November 8, 2017
Our newest public use dataset, HINTS 5, Cycle 1 (2017) is now available for download! HINTS 5, Cycle 1 is a collaboration with the DHHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and merges traditional HINTS topics about health communication, cancer knowledge, and cancer risk behaviors with items assessing the public’s use of health information technology and medical records.
HINTS has also posted the HINTS-FDA, Cycle 2 (2017) public use dataset, providing insights on public perceptions about tobacco and communication related to tobacco. HINTS-FDA, Cycle 2 (2017) was developed in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products.
Check Out HINTS-ASL: Health-Related Information Seeking among Deaf Adults
July 19, 2017
Recently, Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar from Gallaudet University created and administered a version of the HINTS survey in ASL (American Sign Language). Her projects focused on using an ASL version of HINTS items to understand trends in searching, finding, and sharing information for health related decision making amongst both deaf college students and adults. A video describing her research and some key findings can be found below.
Visit http://www.deafhealthqol.com/news/dhcqols-first-film-production to learn more about Dr. Kushalnagar’s work.
November 16, 2016
Spread the word, HINTS-FDA data is now available for download! HINTS data is great for
graduate students and researchers across all disciplines, from public health to health
informatics to communication. Help us get the word out about this free data resource by
using the outreach toolkit found below. This toolkit offers resources that you can
distribute over social media, newsletters, or email to encourage your followers and
networks to take a closer look at HINTS-FDA and consider how they might use these data
in their research studies. Also, get the word out about our newest data with HINTS infocards
for graduate students and educators (see below).
Click to enlarge the images below
HINTS How-to Webinar
September 21, 2016
On May 4, 2016, presenters from the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
came together to provide an overview of HINTS, review optimal ways for analyzing HINTS
data, and present case studies that used HINTS data in an interactive workshop and
webinar. Videos from this webinar are now available.
New HINTS Data Now Available
June 29, 2016
In collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center
for Tobacco Products, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and
Office of the Commissioner, we have just released
a new nationally representative public use dataset. This dataset combines
the traditional HINTS topics of health communication, cancer knowledge,
and cancer risk behaviors with an assessment of the public’s
knowledge of risk perceptions about new tobacco products, perceptions
of tobacco product harm, tobacco product claims, diet supplement labeling,
medical devices, and communications related to product recalls.
New HINTS Infographics Now Available
May 13, 2016
These infographics highlight key HINTS data points on the public's trust of health information from a variety of sources. Feel free to download and share them on social media, your website, or for an upcoming event.
Click to enlarge the images below
Catch HINTS at APHA 2015!
November 3, 2015
This year at the American Public Health Association's 2015 Annual Meeting,
there will be 11 presentations using HINTS data! Download the schedule below
and if you are in Chicago for the meeting, be sure to see one of these great
talks and stop by the NCI booth to learn more about HINTS!
Click to view the PDF.
HINTS Featured in Post on Social Inequalities in Cancer Information Seeking
October 12, 2015
In a recent PLOS Public Health Perspectives blog post on a study investigating
the relationships between literacy, cancer fatalism, and cancer information seeking,
HINTS 4, Cycle 3 data was used to conduct the analysis. One of the main findings of
the study was that people with low literacy are slightly more likely to hold fatalistic
cancer beliefs, which in turn acts as a barrier to seeking out information.
You can read the full post by visiting
August 14, 2015
Whether you are an educator or student, HINTS has data you can use. The social media outreach toolkit found below offers resources that you can disseminate to encourage your membership base and followers to take a closer look at HINTS and consider how they might use these data in their research studies. Also, get the word out about our newest 2014 data with these academia focused HINTS infocards for graduate students and educators.
HINTS Outreach Toolkit for Academic Institutions
Click to enlarge the images below
Download and Share HINTS Infographic and Infocards
July 16, 2015
These graphics highlight key data points both within HINTS 4, Cycle 4 and
data trends across all HINTS 4 data cycles. Feel free to download and share
them, so you can spread the word that HINTS 4, Cycle 4 data is now available
for download (sample Tweets and Facebook messages found below).
Twitter: New HINTS 4, Cycle 4 #data are now available at http://go.usa.gov/3pYnV! #HealthData
Facebook: Here’s a HINT…new HINTS 4, Cycle 4 data available now! Visit http://go.usa.gov/3pYnV for the newest dataset!
Click to enlarge the images below
HINTS Featured in PLOS Public Health Perspectives Post
May 19, 2015
In a recent blog post on Google’s new health search addition featured in PLOS Public Health Perspectives, HINTS data was highlighted as one rationale for this new innovation. HINTS has shown that while people often turn to the internet first to find health information, trust in that information has been low. Google has taken steps to amend this disconnect by designing their search algorithm to provide basic health information results from a database fact-checked by physicians at the Mayo Clinic.
You can read the full post by visiting http://blogs.plos.org/publichealth/2015/02/18/google-health/.
Don’t Miss HINTS at the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Annual Meeting!
April 14, 2015
If you are going to be at SBM 2015 taking place April 22-25 in San Antonio, TX, don’t miss the following presentations featuring HINTS.
Paper Session 41: Health Communication and Information Seeking.
Time: Saturday April 25 at 8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Location: Salon D
Willingness to Exchange Health Information Using Mobile Phones: A Quantitative Analysis.
Katrina J. Serrano, PhD, CHES, and Audie A. Atienza, PhD, National Cancer Institute Science of Research and Technology Branch, Bethesda, MD
Seeking Health Information Online among Older Adults from a National Representative Survey HINTS
Jinmyoung Cho, PhD, Baylor Scott & White Health, Temple, TX; and Y. Alicia Hong, PhD, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, College Station, TX
Other ways to get HINTS at SBM
Be sure to stop by the NCI booth (#105) during the meeting to speak with our experts about HINTS and the research and initiatives supported by NCI’s Behavioral Research Program.
Can’t make it to the meeting? Follow us on Twitter, as the @NCIHINTS account will be live tweeting presentations throughout the meeting. Feel free to jump in the meeting conversation by using the hashtag #SBM2015.