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:
HINTS has fielded several unique policy-related items to assess the public’s attitudes toward proposed public health policies and regulations.
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.
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:
- Increase the proportion of adults whose health care providers involved them in decisions as much as they wanted (HC/HIT‑03)
- Increase the proportion of adults who talk to friends or family about their health (HC/HIT‑04)
- Increase the proportion of adults with broadband internet (HC/HIT‑05)
- Increase the proportion of adults offered online access to their medical record (HC/HIT‑06)
- Increase the proportion of adults who use IT to track health care data or communicate with providers (HC/HIT‑07)
- Tracked by HINTS Item:
In the past 12 months, have you used a computer, smartphone, or other electronic means to look up test results?
In the past 12 months, have you used a computer, smartphone, or other electronic means to make appointments with a health care provider?
In the past 12 months, have you used a computer, smartphone, or other electronic means to use email or the internet to communicate with a doctor or doctor's office?
In the past 12 months, have you used a computer, smartphone, or other electronic means to look for health or medical information for yourself?
Emerging Tobacco Products
HINTS has also been used to track the public’s awareness and use of emerging tobacco products.
HINTS is being used to track public attitudes and perceptions of emerging issues such as health misinformation.
HINTS is being used to assess the American public’s use of and experiences with telehealth services.
Please visit our online codebook to view additional topics covered in HINTS surveys: