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What Makes HINTS Unique

Communication & Technology Focus

The National Cancer Institute’s Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) is the only nationally representative, federally funded survey that includes items related to health and cancer communication, information technology, and the information environment in addition to items related to health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. This communication and technology focus allows researchers to monitor changes in the health communication environment and study the impact of communication on key processes affecting the health of American adults.

Examples of Health/Cancer Communication and Information Technology items:

Policy Support

HINTS has fielded several unique policy-related items to assess the public’s attitudes toward proposed public health policies and regulations.

Example items:

Policy and Guideline Tracking

HINTS has fielded items to help track the public’s awareness and response to major public health developments, such as the release of new guidelines, the implementation of new regulations, and the announcement of major legal decisions.

Example items:

Tracking National Health Objectives

HINTS is used to track national progress toward the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s HealthyPeople targets related to health communication and health information technology:

Emerging Tobacco Products

HINTS has also been used to track the public’s awareness and use of emerging tobacco products.

Example items:


HINTS is being used to track public attitudes and perceptions of emerging issues such as health misinformation.

Example items:


HINTS is being used to assess the American public’s use of and experiences with telehealth services.

Example items:


Please visit our online codebook to view additional topics covered in HINTS surveys: