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Health Information National Trends Survey
Part of NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences


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HINTS Data Users Conference Cancelled

Due to hurricane Florence, the HINTS Data Users Conference has been cancelled. We deeply regret any inconvenience. The Conference will be rescheduled for a later date.

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 to learn more about Dr.  Kushalnagar’s work.

HINTS Outreach Toolkit for Academic Institutions

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 HINTS-FDA, 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!

Catch HINTS at APHA 2015!
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

New Social Media Resources for Students and Educators

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

HINTS Visits Guam!

August 4, 2015

Richard Moser, NCI program director in the Behavioral Research Program’s Science of Research and Technology Branch, recently visited the University of Guam to discuss survey methods and the latest HINTS data. Learn more about his talk at:

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).

Sample Messages:

Twitter: New HINTS 4, Cycle 4 #data are now available at! #HealthData

Facebook: Here’s a HINT…new HINTS 4, Cycle 4 data available now! Visit 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

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.


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.